John Lewis swings into the red with permanent store closures imminent

John Lewis

John Lewis has reported a sharp decline in profits during the pandemic, meaning chair Sharon White “does not expect to reopen all John Lewis shops at the end of lockdown”.

The department store and grocery group suffered a pre-tax loss of £517m in the year to January 30, down from a profit of £146m the previous year.

White attributed this to substantial exceptional costs of £648m, including the depreciation in value of John Lewis’ stores, which have been shuttered due to government restrictions for much of the past year.

She also said the retailer had incurred costs from restructuring and redundancies from store closures and at its head office.

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