John Lewis to cut 1,500 jobs

The John Lewis Partnership has announced that it will cut up to 1,500 jobs at its head office between now and April next year.

This comes as the retailer recently announced plans to make £300 million in annual savings by 2022 through operational efficiencies in the business. Last month, it published its five-year Partnership Plan, part of which is to create an “agile and flexible” head office that is even closer to customers and frontline Partners.

“We will do this by simplifying how we work and delayering our structures,” the company said.

Changes began to be made last month with redundancy support packages being offered and funds for retraining, the Partnership reported, for any Partner with two years’ service or more.

The retail giant said in its latest statement that it is continuing to adapt rapidly to changing shopping habits and getting closer to customers.

It said: “We are also expanding in new areas outside retail where we believe our values can be a force for good.”

The first two years of its big plan will focus on strengthening the John Lewis and Waitrose retail businesses, and it appears £1bn of these savings will be invested in customer service and experience in store and online.

“This will require the Partnership to become a leaner, simpler and faster business.”

Elsewhere, other changes at the company include the departure of Patrick Lewis, Executive Director, Finance, after 26 years. Bérangère Michel, currently Executive Director, Customer Service, and former Finance Director for John Lewis, will take over. He joined the Partnership in 2008.

Mr Michel’s role will not be replaced, as part of the changes at the head office.

Sharon White, Chair of the John Lewis Partnership (pictured), said: “Our plan sets a course to create a thriving and sustainable business for the future. Losing Partners is incredibly hard as an employee-owned business. Wherever possible, we will seek to find new roles in the Partnership and we’ll provide the best support and retraining opportunities for Partners who leave us.”