John Lewis CEO, Nish Kankiwala, is wasting no time in implementing plans to reform the retailer’s business model. In a recent statement to staff, Kankiwala emphasized the urgency of taking action in order to make the company more efficient and affordable. While the specifics of these transformations were not revealed, Kankiwala stressed that swift change is crucial for the company’s future success.

Kankiwala was appointed as CEO by chairman Sharon White with the goal of improving performance and profitability. His previous experience as the chief executive of Hovis, where he successfully led transformative initiatives, makes him well-suited for this role.

These statements from Kankiwala are in response to recent reports suggesting that the John Lewis Partnership, which includes Waitrose, was considering a partial demutualisation to raise new investment. However, the partnership has denied these claims, stating that they are not exploring any such plans. If a decision were to be made to sell even a minority stake, it would require a change in the constitution of the John Lewis Partnership, which would need to be voted on by its partnership council.

The company is currently facing various challenges, including significant debts of £1.7 billion and increased competition from M&S and Next on the high street, as well as online rivals. In order to remain competitive and secure its future, John Lewis acknowledges the need for urgent reforms. The specific details of these changes have yet to be announced but are expected to be disclosed in the near future.

Chairman Sharon White has expressed confidence that the appointment of Kankiwala as CEO will play a crucial role in steering the company towards success. With his leadership and expertise in implementing transformative strategies, the John Lewis Partnership aims to not only survive but thrive for another century.

Useful links:
1. John Lewis Partnership Future Plans
2. John Lewis Branches