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John Lewis and Waitrose owner to cut 1,000 jobs in store management shake-up

Written by on 14/07/2021

The owner of department store chain John Lewis and supermarket Waitrose is to cut around 1,000 jobs in a store management shake-up.

John Lewis Partnership (JLP) said it was following in the footsteps of rival retailers by simplifying management structures so it can reinvest in customer service and sprucing up its shops.

It is the latest blow to the workforce following the announcement of a series of John Lewis store closures in the wake of the pandemic, costing more than 2,000 jobs.

Image: Waitrose has 331 stores across the country

Dame Sharon White, chair of the partnership, has moved to cut costs after the crisis accelerated the shift from bricks-and-mortar retailing to online.

The latest announcement affects roles across JLP’s 34 John Lewis and 331 Waitrose stores but does not mean any further shop closures.

JLP – which is owned by its employees, who are known as “partners” – said it would seek to minimise compulsory redundancies including helping to find new roles for some of those affected.

It said that in Waitrose, many of the management posts being axed will be replaced by non-management roles.

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A spokesperson for the partnership said: “We have announced to our partners our intention to simplify our management structures in Waitrose and John Lewis stores, which will allow us to reinvest in what matters most to our customers.”

Earlier this year, JLP reported a £517m annual loss after suffering what Dame Sharon described as an “economic earthquake” with its department stores forced to close during the pandemic.

She noted that the crisis had seen “a decade of changing shopping habits concertinaed into one year”.

The partnership has embarked on a plan to cut annual costs by £300m by 2022.

 Sky News

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