The John Lewis Partnership says it’s “forgoing revenue” to assist clients, companions and suppliers navigate the challenges of the price of residing disaster.
The worker-owned firm, comprising the eponymous division retailer chain and Waitrose supermarkets, reported a lack of £99m for the half-year to 30 July in comparison with a crimson determine of £29m a yr earlier.
It stated the heightened loss mirrored its determination to defend consumers from a few of its rising prices in the course of the interval.
The assertion revealed a one-off price of residing help fee for its workers, referred to as companions, with full-time employees securing £500.
These on part-time hours would obtain much less.
Entry stage pay for workers would additionally enhance by 4%, it stated, whereas all companions would obtain free at-work meals over winter.
The price of the general package deal was put at £50m.
The partnership admitted on the time of its final outcomes assertion in March that it had handed on “small” hikes to costs throughout its operations, reflecting the rising price of meals and manufacturing linked to document power costs.
It stated on Thursday that the outlook for the remainder of its monetary yr, together with the important thing Christmas interval, was “extremely unsure” because of the subsequent affect on shoppers’ discretionary spending.
John Lewis stated there can be a robust give attention to worth to assist preserve gross sales, with £500m to be invested in its pricing throughout the 2022/23 monetary yr.
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It reported a 3% enhance in comparable gross sales on the division retailer chain over the primary half to £2.1bn.
At Waitrose, on the identical foundation, gross sales have been 5% decrease at £3.6bn reflecting the affect of excessive COVID lockdown demand over the primary half in 2021.
Dame Sharon White, the partnership’s chairman, advised an analysts’ name that she anticipated the federal government’s power value assure to be a “game-changer” when it comes to shopper spending energy forward.
However she earlier cautioned: “Nobody may have predicted the dimensions of the cost-of-living disaster that has materialized, with power costs and inflation rising forward of anybody’s expectations.
“As a enterprise, we now have confronted unprecedented price inflation throughout grocery and basic merchandise.”
She added: “We’re responding to the price of residing disaster by supporting those that want it and by stepping up our effectivity program.
“We’re forgoing revenue by making decisions based mostly on the type of enterprise we’re, led by our Goal – Working In Partnership For A Happier World – by serving to our Companions, clients, communities and suppliers.”