Retail: John Lewis and Waitrose staff likely to receive 15% annual bonus

John Lewis Partnership chief Charlie Mayfield outside the Waitrose and John Lewis at home stores in Ipswich. John Lewis Partnership chief Charlie Mayfield outside the Waitrose and John Lewis at home stores in Ipswich.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
12:12 PM

John Lewis and Waitrose staff are set for bonuses worth 15% of their salaries tomorrow as the retail chains continue strong trading.

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John Lewis Partnership, which is owned by its 85,500 employees, will announce the bonus award alongside annual results, with the group expected to report a 7% rise in underlying profits to £370million.

The bonus percentage is set to be down from 17% a year earlier due to the increased cost of servicing the group’s £840m pension fund deficit.

The retailer’s 10-year plan to eliminate the deficit included a one-off payment of £85m in January followed by further annual cash payments of £44m.

Each worker, from weekend check-out assistants to chairman Charlie Mayfield, receives the same percentage of salary as a bonus.

The reported figure of 15% is believed to amount to £200m in total and represent around £3,500 to the average full-time employee.

The department store and supermarket arms of the partnership have continued to trade well, with John Lewis’s Christmas like-for-like sales up 6.9% and Waitrose reporting a 3.1% rise.

Independent retail analyst Nick Bubb has highlighted concerns about the impact of intense supermarket competition on profit margins at Waitrose.

But he said: “John Lewis Partnership should be reasonably optimistic about the outlook for the UK consumer and for profit and bonus growth in 2014/15.”

For more on the staff bonuses, click here.

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