John Lewis will cut 1,500 jobs at his head office. The redundancies are part of a major savings plan to make the British department store chain profitable again.
Becoming more efficient
One of the aims of the reorganisation is to reduce the size of the management team. Remarkably, financial director Patrick Lewis, great-grandson of founder John Lewis and the only family member still working for the company, will also leave the department store chain.
According to The Guardian, John Lewis is aiming to save around 300 million pound (332 million euro) annually through the whole operation. The remediation should make the business more agile and flexible and bring it closer to its customers. "Our partnership plan sets a course to create a thriving and sustainable business for the future. To achieve this we must be agile and able to adapt quickly to the changing needs of our customers," said Chairman Sharon White.
In July, John Lewis already announced the closure of 8 stores. Some 1,300 jobs were lost. Last year, the chain also cut 75 jobs at the head office. Recently, the retailer decided to convert almost half of its large London flagship store into offices.
The (British) department store chains are in an unprecedented crisis and are struggling to keep their heads above water. Marks & Spencer and Debenhams have already announced several major reorganisations. The fact that the department store sector needs to reinvent itself is also the theme of the book 'The Future of Department Stores' that RetailDetail published earlier this year.