Losses fall at John Lewis as it prepares for festive period

The John Lewis Partnership has reported a £29m pre-tax loss for the past six months as restructuring costs offset the boost from higher sales.

John Lewis' flagship Northern store is in Leeds.

The loss for the half year to July 31 represented a significant improvement on the £635m loss it posted for the same period last year.

The group, which operates the John Lewis department store chain and Waitrose supermarket arm, said total sales increased by 6 per cent to £5.87bn. The firm's flagship Northern store is in Leeds.

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John Lewis chair, Sharon White, said: “We have begun the financial year with profits recovering, ahead of both last year and expectations set at our year-end results.

“Traditionally, our profits are skewed to the second half of the year because of the importance of Christmas, especially in John Lewis.

“As we look ahead, there is significant uncertainty. Like the whole of retail, we are managing global supply chain challenges and labour shortages.

“We are seeing inflationary pressures, which we expect to persist.

“We are taking a raft of measures to mitigate these risks and deliver Christmas for our customers.”

John Lewis has revealed plans to recruit more than 7,000 temporary workers across the country this Christmas.

Directors at the employee-owned business said this would be 2,000 more than last year, to meet expected increased demand over the festive period and to help customers get what they need to celebrate.

The new employees will be spread across the retailer’s supermarkets, department stores and fulfilment centres, including delivery drivers for its online grocery division.