Coronavirus: John Lewis Partnership braces for full-year sales slump

John Lewis

The John Lewis Partnership has forecast that its full-year sales decline could double at John Lewis and slide at Waitrose despite the current coronavirus-induced surge in grocery sales.

The retailer has said it is planning for a “worst-case scenario” of full-year sales falling 35% at John Lewis and a “more modest decline of less than 5%” at Waitrose, which would anticipate “significant sales decline between April and June, and weak sales thereafter.”

Since the department store retailer shuttered its stores in March, online sales have spiked and are up 84% year on year since the middle of March. But this increase has not been sufficient to offset lost sales from store closures, which prompted John Lewis to furlough 14,000 colleagues at the beginning of April. Sales across John Lewis are down 17% overall since mid-March and down 7% since January 26.

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