21 July 2024, 11:02
By Furniture News Mar 10, 2022

John Lewis achieves record LFL sales and narrows losses

John Lewis Partnership narrowed its losses considerably in what it describes as "another tough year", which saw the retailer reduce management roles in its shops and the size of its central teams, and close eight John Lewis stores and a delivery hub.

In its unaudited results covering the year to 29th January 2022, the retailer reports a loss before tax of £26m (491m better than last year), while profit before exceptional items rebounded to £181m (up +38% YoY).

Total sales across the partnership amounted to £12.5b (up +1%). The period saw John Lewis achieve its highest-ever LFL sales to date, of £4.9b – up +8% YoY. Yo2Y, John Lewis' LFL sales were up +10%.

"We have made a good start to our Partnership Plan but are only one year through our five year transformation," says chairman Sharon White. "Looking ahead, we see continued uncertainty from global events, affecting the economic environment, our customers, partners and society. As inflation and energy prices rise, our customers face higher living costs. While this creates uncertainties as we look ahead, we remain focused on investing significantly in our Partnership Plan to transform and grow our business."

In 2022/23, the partnership says this will include: investing £119m in John Lewis' shops, digital services and distribution capabilities; committing £500m to give John Lewis customers everyday quality and value, and an improved customer loyalty proposition later this year; continuing to develop and progress its property rental proposition; and targeting further sustainable cost savings by the year's end.

The partnership has also pledged to voluntarily pay its staff the Real Living Wage nationwide this year (a +2% payrise).

"Trading operating profit of £758m – up +37% on last year – reflects that margin in John Lewis has markedly improved this year," states the retailer. "This was due to a combination of stronger sales, lower markdowns on sales and the mix of sales - with a higher proportion of Fashion and Home sales in 2021/22 than the previous year (which carry higher margins than Technology sales, that were exceptionally strong in 2020/21)."

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