Gross sales at John Lewis Partnership were down -1.8% YoY to £2167m over the Christmas period (17th November to 4th January), with gross sales at John Lewis & Partners down £1134m (-2.3% YoY), down -2% on a LFL basis. Home sales at the latter were down -3.4% YoY.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, comments: “Operationally - across availability, service, delivery and online - we saw a strong performance in both brands. We saw significant variation in levels of demand, with Black Friday sales up +10% on the equivalent period last year, followed by more subdued demand in the subsequent weeks.

"In John Lewis & Partners we will reverse the losses incurred in the first half of the year, but profits will be substantially down on last year. We therefore expect that partnership profit before exceptionals will be significantly lower than last year."

In October, the partnership outlined plans to integrate its management teams, and the business reports that more than 90% of the leadership appointments have been confirmed. 

However, Paula Nickolds – currently MD of John Lewis & Partners, who was slated to become executive director, brand – has announced that she will be leaving the partnership next month after working with the company for 25 years, "after some reflection on the responsibilities of her proposed new role".

The Future Partnership will be in place from the start of February.