John Lewis has handed out £211m staff bonuses worth 17% of basic salary for the first time after a rise in profits for department store and its supermarket chain Waitrose. John Lewis bonus is worth almost nine weeks’ pay to the Partnership’s 84,700 staff, meaning that the average full-time employee will collect around £4,000. The payout is up on the 14% bonus paid to staff last year, but down on the 18% paid in 2011 and the 24% paid in the 1980s. John Lewis raked in £9.5bn in sales, with booming online business. John Lewis managing director Andy Street called it “a bricks and clicks success story”.
2012 marked the year of revival of John Lewis and its supermarket chain Waitrose which defied the gloom to deliver a 16% leap in profits, rising by £55.8m to £409.6m. In the 12 months to January 26, John Lewis witnessed sales sky-rocket by 10.5%, with electricals and gadgets raking in the cash helped by the collapse of other high street retailers such as Comet, Jessops and HMV which boosted trade along with a 40% leap in online sales.
Waitrose managing director Mark Price revealed a million more shoppers were buying groceries at the supermarket, with like-for-like sales up by 3.4% and online turnover soaring 49%. Waitrose’s budget brand Essential was a hit with eight out of 10 shoppers buying at least one value item per visit. Price credited the label for Waitrose’s success along with the price matching of 8,000 branded products against Britain’s biggest grocer, Tesco. The supermarket chain is ready to introduce its “Click and Collect” drive-through service which will launch nationwide if it’s a hit in five pilot towns: Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Southend, Salisbury and Lincoln.