This afternoon department store business John Lewis revealed that almost 400 roles are to go as it seeks to adapts to structural changes that are reshaping retail.

Following on from sister business Waitrose’s decision to shut six stores, it’s further bleak news from the Partnership.

Retail is rightly proud of its status as an employer, providing livelihoods for 3.2 million people.

But, as we have written about in Retail Week throughout this year, the likelihood is that in future the number will fall – the hope is that the fewer roles that remain will be ‘better’ jobs.

It’s no consolation to those that are losing their employment. But fewer jobs are better than no jobs, which would be the likely outcome at some companies unless they anticipate and respond to changed conditions.

Also on the theme of employment, we hear from Mishcon de Reya lawyer Susannah Kintish on balancing workers’ rights and the gig economy.

We also reveal carpet specialist Tapi’s expansion plans and have a great photo essay on Clapham High Street and the impact of business rates.

Quote of the day

“These proposals will allow us to modernise our business as it adapts to the changing needs of our customers and the role that shops play in their lives.”

John Lewis operations director Dino Rocos on proposals likely to lead to 387 fewer roles at the retailer.

Today in numbers


Number of branches Tapi intends to trade from by Christmas


Number of trade bodies that have written to the Government urging business rates reform

Tomorrow’s agenda

There are no scheduled updates. Don’t forget to watch The Retail Week, our video review of the big stories of the last seven days.

George MacDonald, Executive Editor