John Lewis says gross sales within the seven-week Christmas interval had been 1.four% increased than for a similar interval final 12 months.
Nonetheless, that is probably not sufficient to safe a bonus for its 83,000 workers this 12 months, the agency stated.
Gross like-for-like gross sales, which strip out the influence of retailer opening and closures, at its Waitrose supermarkets, had been £1.05bn, up zero.three% on final 12 months.
The John Lewis shops themselves noticed gross sales of £1.1bn, up 1% on final 12 months.
Waitrose’s on-line gross sales over the Christmas interval had been significantly robust, growing by 12.eight%.
John Lewis stated in its assertion that, though it had the cash to pay workers a small bonus, it must “contemplate rigorously” whether or not paying one can be prudent this 12 months.
If the partnership decides to not, it will mark the primary 12 months since 1953 that workers had not had a revenue share.
John Lewis’ construction is exclusive. It’s owned by its workers, who’re known as companions.
Sometimes in worthwhile years, workers on the 350 Waitrose and 51 John Lewis shops obtain a share of those. In the perfect years, these bonuses can add the equal of some months’ value of pay.
Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, outlined the challenges dealing with shopkeepers: “Two foremost components are affecting the retail sector – oversupply of bodily house and comparatively weak shopper demand.
“Regardless of this, we had a optimistic Christmas buying and selling interval, because of the extraordinary efforts of companions in our enterprise.”
He stated full-year income can be “considerably” decrease this 12 months.
Sir Charlie advised the BBC: “Yearly the board appears at what we will afford to pay in bonus in March. What we have stated is due to the steps we have taken we have got a powerful monetary place and we will afford to pay a bonus. The query is whether or not it is prudent to take action and naturally that is a judgement about what’s coming and the uncertainty available in the market and this 12 months after all there’s various that. So we simply have to take a look at that sensibly.
“In our enterprise, it is owned by the individuals who work in it, we dwell inside our means and we have now to take account of what is developing even when it is unsure and we won’t fairly choose it completely.”
The partnership additionally stated that Black Friday, which has turn out to be one of the essential buying and selling days of the 12 months, contributed to the largest gross sales week in its historical past.
John Lewis stated initially of January that the week operating as much as Christmas itself noticed gross sales rise by 11% on the earlier Christmas.
John Lewis reported very robust gross sales on Christmas Eve itself – which was included within the final week of buying and selling – as prospects purchased last-minute presents.
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