John Lewis commits £1bn to online push

16 Oct 2020

The John Lewis Partnership, which owns Waitrose, is to spend £1bn over five years to accelerate its online business and transform its shops.

In a statement on Friday, the retailer also vowed to increase its Waitrose delivery capacity to more than 250,000 orders per week, up from 55,000 before the pandemic.

“JLP is targeting around £400m profit for the group in five years and has promised to pay real living wage to all partners when they hit £200m profit. And it’s promised to pay partner bonuses by the time profits push past £150m and its debt ratio drops,” reported The Guardian.

The partnership is also set to become a major landlord.  “We’ve identified 20 sites we own that could be used to benefit local communities by providing quality and sustainable housing, while providing a stable income for the Partnership,” reads the statement.  

“We’ll make planning applications for two of these in the new year in greater London. Entering the ‘build to rent’ market also allows us to furnish properties using John Lewis Home products and deliver Waitrose food. We’re a landlord already at three of our properties so this is an obvious extension for us. And we’re now talking to developers and investors who can help us achieve our ambitions.”

Sharon White, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: “We’ve seen five years of change in the past five months and Waitrose and John Lewis have responded with great agility. Our plan means the John Lewis Partnership will thrive for the next century, as it has the last.

“We’re adapting successfully to how customers want to shop today, while showing the Partnership is improving lives and building a more sustainable future. We’ll share our success with our customers, Partners - who own the business - and our communities.”