John Lewis Partnership unveils plans for 1,000 job cuts

Published on: 15th July 2021

The retail partnership, which owns Waitrose as well as John Lewis, is looking to reduce the number of layers between senior leaders and non-management staff. 

The John Lewis Partnership is planning to cut up to 1,000 jobs at its John Lewis and Waitrose stores. Staff were reportedly informed yesterday morning.

The move comes as part of the partnership’s efforts to simplify its management structures by reducing the number of layers between its most senior members and non-management staff. Retail Gazette has reported that many of the managerial posts that it may lose at Waitrose would be replaced by non-management staff, and that all those whose jobs are on the line will be supported in finding new roles to try and keep redundancies to a minimum.

A John Lewis Partnership spokesperson told Retail Gazette: “We have announced to our partners our intention to simplify our management structures in Waitrose and John Lewis stores, which will allow us to reinvest in what matters most to our customers.”

The job cuts seem to fall under John Lewis Partnership’s wider Partnership Plan, headed up by partnership boss Dame Sharon White. The money saved by reducing staff numbers is expected to be invested in customer experience, frontline customer service and visual merchandising.

Earlier this year, John Lewis announced a raft of store closures, as part of the company’s wider turnaround plan. This includes opening John Lewis shop-in-shops and improving the click-and-collect service across Waitrose’s 331 stores. The partnership said that it would be ‘testing new formats of smaller, local neighbourhood shops offering the best of John Lewis’, and predicted that between 60-70% of sales would be made online in the future.

John Lewis Partnership’s five-year Partnership Plan will see the business aim to reduce costs by £300m per year by 2022. The plan will also see the partnership investing around £800m this year to fund growth.


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