Britain’s John Lewis sinks at a loss as cost of living crisis weighs

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  • Loss of 92 million pounds in the first half
  • Says the outlook for the rest of the year is very uncertain
  • Said it takes a good Christmas if the staff get a bonus

LONDON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Britain’s John Lewis Partnership reported a first-half loss and warned the outlook for the rest of 2022 was highly uncertain due to the impact of the fuel cost crisis. living on discretionary spending.

The employee-owned group, which runs John Lewis department stores and high-end supermarket chain Waitrose, posted a pre-tax and exceptional items loss of 92 million pounds ($106 million) in the six months on Thursday. prior to July 30. That compares with a profit of £69million in the same period last year.

He said while department store sales were up 3% on a like-for-like basis to £2.1bn, Waitrose sales fell 5% to £3.6bn.

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Britons are looking for savings in the face of soaring inflation, which was 9.9% in August and is expected to rise further this year. Read more

Last week, industry data showed the weakest retail sales growth since the COVID-19 lockdowns ended last year.

British fashion retailers Primark (ABF.L), ASOS (ASOS.L) and online supermarket Ocado Retail (OCDO.L), (MKS.L) all warned of profits this month. Read more

The partnership attributed the loss to higher costs not being fully passed on to customers, lower demand, unwinding of pandemic shopping habits as well as greater investment in the business.

Despite the loss, the partnership announced a one-time cost-of-living support payment of £500 for full-time staff called ‘partners’.

Sharon White, a former Treasury official who chairs the partnership, said a successful Christmas would now be key for the business.

“We will need a substantial performance boost, beyond what we typically achieve in the second half, to generate sufficient profit to share a Partnership Bonus,” she said.

With the partnership hit hard by the pandemic, White laid out a five-year recovery plan in October 2020 that included store closures and job cuts, but also investments in its online operations.

($1 = 0.8681 pounds)

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Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Elizabeth Piper, Alexander Smith and Edwina Gibbs

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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