In her new role as chairwoman of John Lewis, Dame Sharon White is wasting no time in putting her stamp on the company. Just one month into her position, she is reportedly planning to launch a strategic review of the business. This review comes at a critical time, as John Lewis is preparing to release its latest results, which are expected to reveal some challenges that the company is facing.

Under the leadership of previous chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield, a strategic review took place that resulted in significant changes within the organization. The department stores and Waitrose were brought closer together, but this decision also led to the departure of several senior executives. Now, there are analysts who believe that Sharon White’s review may potentially reverse some of these previous decisions.

Aside from the strategic review, there are concerns surrounding John Lewis’s financial performance. Reports have surfaced suggesting that the company may have to write down the value of its department store retail properties by hundreds of millions of pounds. Such a write-down could have a substantial impact on the financial health of the company.

Furthermore, there is speculation surrounding the annual staff bonus, which is known as “partners,” that John Lewis employees typically receive. Rumors suggest that this year’s bonus could be as low as 2% or potentially even eliminated altogether due to the company’s weak performance.

To assist with the strategic review, Dame Sharon White is currently in talks with consultancies, including McKinsey. It is evident that she is determined to make bold moves and take the company in a new direction.

Both industry experts and John Lewis employees are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the strategic review and the company’s financial results. With the retail landscape rapidly evolving, it is crucial for John Lewis to adapt and innovate in order to remain competitive. The future holds uncertain changes for this iconic British retailer.

Useful links:
1. BBC: John Lewis considers department store closings
2. John Lewis Partnership Corporate website