JOHN Lewis and Waitrose staff are set for bonuses worth 15% of their salaries tomorrow as the retail chain marks a return to profits growth.
John Lewis Partnership, which is owned by its 84,700 employees, cut its staff bonus from 18% to 14% last year after it suffered a 4% fall in profits to £353.8 million.
But retail analyst Nick Bubb, who is pencilling in a 17% hike in profits to £415m tomorrow after a “bumper” Christmas, said staff were poised to see a “small increase” in the percentage of salary bonus which is received by each worker – from weekend check-out assistants to chairman Charlie Mayfield.
The group reported a 60% surge in first half profits to £145m at its half year but warned in September that profit growth would be much slower in the second half.
Mr Bubb said second half profits would be flattened by a big swing to lower-margin electrical goods and intense competition in food retailing as well as significant growth in operating costs from online delivery and distribution.
But he said John Lewis would be “in very good heart” given the disarray among its major competitors and the strong start to trading in the new year.
John Lewis has recently hailed its website as a key reason for its success, with johnlewis.com breaking through the £800m barrier over the crucial Christmas trading period in the five weeks to December 29.
Following the success of collection points in 234 department stores and Waitrose supermarkets, John Lewis last month announced a deal with delivery and returns business CollectPlus to allow customers to return and collect online shopping at a network of 5,000 local shops and petrol stations.