Waitrose shines as John Lewis struggles

The John Lewis Partnership has reported pre-tax profit slump of 19.6% despite total sales being up 3.5% in the six months to 1 August.

Waitrose

The Partnership’s food business Waitrose recorded stronger results than department store chain John Lewis.

Sales at Waitrose were up 7.4% to £2.18bn against like for like sales up 1.8% during the period, while John Lewis saw sales slide 2.9% to £1.21bn with like for like sales falling 4.7%.

Operating profit at the department store chain plunged 50% over the period while Waitrose enjoyed a 15.7% boost.

John Lewis’ online business performed well with 11.6% sales rise after it relaunched its online site in September and the introduction of the Click and Collect trial at Waitrose.

The business says it has adjusted to “severe recessionary conditions”  this year and chairman Charlie Mayfield is “pleased” with the group’s performance as a result.

Mayfield says: “In every area of our business we have generated considerable forward momentum, which will reap rewards for Partners in the future. This is evident in our ambitious investment in multi-channel, new online concepts, new shops and formats, new products and increased collaboration between John Lewis and Waitrose in every aspect of our business.

earlier this year Waitrose introduced its Essentials range of value priced products, and has followed this with the John Lewis value range of homewares, designed to stop customers migrating to cheaper retailers.

Waitrose has also opened new format stores this year including convenience stores and two motorway services locations.

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