Leader: Mayfield’s John Lewis Partnership gamble brings massive risk

John lewis

For good or ill, today was a landmark moment in the 155-year history of the John Lewis Partnership.

One line from chair Sir Charlie Mayfield, who will shortly hand over the reins to Sharon White, screamed out from the announcement detailing the retailer’s radical restructure, which detailed plans to cut more than a quarter of head office senior management roles and axe divisional boards and managing director roles at the eponymous department stores business and stablemate grocer Waitrose.

“When the programme is complete,” Mayfield maintained, “the partnership will be better positioned to break out from the cycle of declining returns that are affecting most established retailers.”

Will it? That’s the big question.

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