John Lewis sales down; plans to “revitalise” Home category

Department store retailer John Lewis Partnership, owners of John Lewis and Waitrose, has reported a growth in group sales and profit.

According to its unaudited results for the 52 weeks ended 27 January 2024, total partnership sales were £12.4bn, up 1% on last year, while pre-tax profit resulted at £56m, a £290m improvement year-on-year from a loss of £78m.

The group said that operating profit margins increased 1.2 percentage points in the year and that one million more customers shopped with the group in the year taking the total to 22.6 million.

As for John Lewis, sales were £4.8bn, down 4%. Sales in Fashion, including Beauty, were up on the year while it saw weaker sales in Home and Technology. John Lewis attracted a record 13.4 million customers.

Looking ahead, the group enters a year of significant investment with £542m planned (over 70% up on the year) – much of which will focus on modernising its technology, refreshing shops and simplifying how it works.

“In John Lewis, we will improve our offer to customers with around 80 new brands and strengthened own-brand, while revitalising our Home category,” the group added. “We’re improving visual merchandising in stores, investing in technology to improve customer service and continuing to invest in value. We will invest in improving our online experience through easier navigation and personalised product recommendations.”

Nish Kankiwala, CEO of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “I’m grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Partners in delivering our return to profit while growing our customer numbers, accelerating the pace of transformation and driving significant improvements in productivity.

“It’s great to see an increasing number of customers embrace our Partner-led service and our unique credentials for quality and value, while we deliver exciting new innovations in both Waitrose and John Lewis. I’m very confident in the next phase of our refreshed Plan, which will focus on delighting our retail customers, offering excellent service delivered by our Partners.”

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