The chairman of John Lewis Partnership, Sharon White, has unveiled her ambitious plan to restore profitability to the retailer by 2026. Speaking at the Employee Ownership Association, White discussed her intention to reinstate the staff bonus scheme and prioritize affordable bonus payments. This announcement comes after three consecutive years of losses for the company.

White’s comprehensive five-year plan, implemented in 2021, centers around establishing a sustainable profit for the partnership. She emphasized the significance of building a well-rounded business that prioritizes exceptional retail experiences guided by principles of customer service, quality, and ethics.

Despite expressing optimism about achieving profitability before 2026, the future of the annual bonus scheme offered by John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets remains uncertain. Nevertheless, White has received support in her recovery initiatives, despite facing some criticism from members of the employee-owned partnership council.

In addition to concerns about profitability, White’s proposal to attract external investment has raised questions about the company’s unique employee ownership structure. White clarified that while external investment may be necessary, the employee-owned model will remain central to the company’s identity as a partnership. Employee ownership is seen as integral to the organization’s values and mission.

In conclusion, Sharon White is committed to reviving the fortunes of John Lewis Partnership and guaranteeing its long-term profitability. Through a focus on outstanding retail practices, exceptional customer service, and the preservation of employee ownership, she aims to establish a sustainable and thriving business.

1. John Lewis Partnership: About Us
2. Forbes – The Power of Employee Ownership to Achieve Long-Term Success