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The partnership says that plans to return the business to profitability will involve further reductions in staff
By Marc Ashdown
Business Correspondent, BBC News

John Lewis has confirmed it is planning to further cut its workforce over the next five years.

Up to 11,000 jobs at the retail partnership – amounting to 10% of the workforce – could reportedly go, according to the Guardian.

John Lewis said the losses would include redundancies and not replacing vacant positions.

It would not confirm numbers to the BBC, but said plans to return the business to profit would mean cuts.

The group currently employs 76,000 people across its supermarkets, department stores and head office. It is owned by its workers through a trust, who are known as Partners.

A spokesperson for John Lewis said in a statement sent to the BBC on Saturday that it “has a plan to return to profit, which involves investing heavily to enhance our customer offer, technology, stores and becoming more efficient”.

“This is working and performance is improving, but as we have already announced, that sadly means reducing the number of Partners we need in our business,” they added.

“It would be inappropriate to discuss details and our Partners will be the first to know about any changes.”

John Lewis has been under financial pressure in recent years – announcing its second ever full-year loss, totalling £234m, in March 2023. It scrapped its staff bonus for the year and closed 16 department stores and several supermarkets, cutting thousands of jobs.

Announcing the loss, it blamed its financial struggles on high inflation and increased labour, as well as energy and freight costs.

News of the further job cuts comes after the company reportedly wrote to staff recently, telling them it planned to reduce its redundancy package from two weeks of pay per year to one from February.

According to the Guardian, workers have been expressing their frustration about this on the group’s internal messaging board.

Some have called for an emergency meeting of the partnership council, which gives partners a democratic voice via elected representatives.

Others have reportedly said they were angry that senior executives who had recently left were given the more generous redundancy terms.

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