Paula Nickolds, who had served as the managing director of John Lewis for 25 years, has left the company as part of a strategic shakeup. This move coincides with the appointment of Sharon White as the new chairman of the company. While Nickolds had received praise from outgoing chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield, it was decided that her departure would be in line with the company’s Future Partnership structure.

The John Lewis Partnership reported a decline in gross sales of 1.8% to £2.167 billion during the crucial seven-week Christmas period. Waitrose, a subsidiary of the company, experienced a 1.3% decrease in sales excluding fuel, while their like-for-like sales saw a modest increase of 0.4%. In contrast, John Lewis department stores saw a 2.3% decline in overall sales, along with a 2% drop on a like-for-like basis.

When analyzing the breakdown of sales, it becomes apparent that Waitrose fared better online compared to John Lewis. Waitrose witnessed a substantial rise of 16.7% in online sales, while John Lewis only experienced a marginal increase of 1.4%. The fashion department of John Lewis recorded a slight growth of 0.1%. However, the home and electricals departments faced a decline of 3.4% and 4% respectively.

Looking ahead, it is predicted that Waitrose’s full-year profits will align with last year’s figures. On the other hand, John Lewis is expected to face substantial losses, although these may be offset by a potential recovery in the second half of the year.

Useful links:
– For more information on John Lewis and their current strategies, visit John Lewis Partnership.
– To stay updated on the latest developments in the retail industry, check out Retail Gazette.