John Lewis and Waitrose to reduce staff by 1000

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John Lewis and Waitrose are forecasting to cut 1,000 jobs as part of a shake-up of store management.

Earlier this year, eight John Lewis stores were closed because of the shake-up. This move put almost 1,500 jobs at risk.

Waitrose is owned by John Lewis. The department store chain is trying to cut costs as people have started shopping online.

However, it said it would help affected staff find new jobs and wanted to avoid necessary layings-off.

A John Lewis Partnership spokesperson said the job cuts “will allow us to reinvest in what matters most to our customers”.

It will invest in customer service roles and “visual merchandising to make our shops look their best to entice customers”, the retailer said.

Furthermore, the shop floor staff added that the cuts will “reduce the number of layers between our most senior leaders and non-management”.

Cuts and closures

It was because of the coronavirus pandemic that people preferred shopping online rather than going to stores physically.

Last year the retailer said it would close eight stores with the loss of 1,300 jobs, and put in place a plan to adapt to the boom in online shopping.

Then, the closure of another eight department stores happened this year, after the pandemic led it to report a heavy annual loss.

Recently, the partnership declared plans to build 10,000 rental homes over the next few years so that there is a stable long-term income.

Now, it has 34 John Lewis shops and 331 Waitrose stores and across the UK.

It consists of 80,000 staff members. Each of them is a partner in the business and usually get a share of the profits.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that for John Lewis, “pivoting quickly to keep up with the accelerated shift in shopping habits brought on by the pandemic has been far from easy”.

Previous year it happened for the first time since 1953 that the firm did not pay a bonus, “highlighting the once-in-a-generation challenge the partnership is facing”, she said.

The firm is spending £1bn over five years to speed up the move to online sales.

 

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