CGI of John Lewis' new Leeds store.
Rebecca Wayman

John Lewis cuts 75 top jobs as it prepares for supermarket partnership

John Lewis is set to axe a third of senior management jobs as the company prepares to streamline its structure from 2020.

The jobs will be axed at the John Lewis Partnership, as the company expects it will begin a restructure next February. The partnership will merge the managements of its high street stores with supermarket chain Waitrose into one team.

John Lewis has recently been struggling in the retail climate, however the restructure could save the company £100m. Though around 75 of its 225 senior head office roles would be cut.

John Lewis’ chairman, Sir Charlie Mayfield, spoke of the news: “These changes will be difficult for some of our partners and we will implement [them] as carefully and sensitively as we can.”

Employees at John Lewis - including management and shop floor staff - are known as ‘partners’ due to the company’s co-ownership model.

Just last month, the retailer reported a half-year loss for the first time ever. For the customers that made up its highest sales, the majority shopped at its own department stores as well as Waitrose.

The partnership has been claimed a “bold” move by retail analyst Richard Lim, but should be effective in saving costs.

Meanwhile, others think it would cause unnecessary disruption. Retail analyst of GlobalData, Thomas Brereton added: “The long-term impact of running a unified strategy for two retailers with such a varied proposition is questionable.”

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