LONDON: Britain’s John Lewis Partnership will invest £1 billion ($1.3bn) to expand its online business and improve its stores, and will diversify beyond retail and seek more partnerships as it aims to recover profits, it said yesterday.
Detailing a five-year plan to grow the employee-owned department stores and Waitrose supermarket group, chairman Sharon White said she was targeting profit of £400 million by year five. She is also seeking efficiency savings of £300m a year by 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hammered Britain’s retail sector, leaving gaping holes on the country’s main shopping streets and costing tens of thousands of jobs. The crisis has forced retailers to re-think their business models.
The John Lewis Partnership reported a first-half loss of 635 million pounds last month.
The partnership’s plan will see its two branches working much more closely together, cross-selling each others products.
The department stores business will become a 60-70 per cent online retailer by 2025 from 40pc before the crisis. It will retain its “Never Knowingly Undersold” price pledge for the time being.
The group has a target of making 40pc of its profits from new areas by 2030 and will invest £400m to achieve it.