Pure Beauty

John Lewis mulls ending 100% staff ownership

By Julia Wray | Published: 20-Mar-2023

The retailer is looking to raise between £1bn and £2bn following the announcement of job cuts last week

John Lewis is considering selling a stake in its business after 73 years operating as a staff-owned partnership.

As reported in The Sunday Times, the UK retailer is considering selling only a minority stake and would continue to prioritise majority employee ownership.

Any outside investor would have to share the employee-centric values of the group, which runs John Lewis department stores and grocer Waitrose, the report said.

The company is said to be looking to sell a stake worth between £1bn and £2bn, primarily to invest in struggling Waitrose. 

The news follows John Lewis’ announcement last week of a loss of £78m for the year ended January 2023; it added that it was cutting staff numbers and scrapping bonuses. 

Last week also saw Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, appoint the group’s first ever Chief Executive to help get profits back on track.

Nish Kankiwala, the former Chief Executive of Hovis, has been a Non-Executive Director of the John Lewis Partnership since April 2021.

John Lewis is currently trialing a series of new concepts and services, the most recent of which is a 47,000sqft redesign in West Sussex town Horsham, which opened this month. 

New beauty brands at the store include Jo Malone, Clinique, Clarins, Chanel, Dior and Bobbi Brown, as well as a range of personalised services including an Elemis beauty treatment room.

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