Waitrose and John Lewis are planning to cut 1000 roles to revive the company’s flagging fortunes.
The John Lewis Partnership, which owns both retailers, said it was planning to strip out a layer of managers across its supermarkets and department stores.
The move “will allow us to reinvest in what matters most to our customers,” a spokesman said.
It is seen as a reaction to John Lewis’ recent struggles, given Waitrose’s popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Over 2020, the grocer’s profits grew by 71 per cent to £277.5 million, its highest year on record.
It faced criticism for refusing to return £85 million given by the government to keep it afloat over lockdown.
Big 4 grocers Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons have collectively returned billions in taxpayer funds.
Writing in The Guardian in March, financial editor Nils Pratley said there was “no justification” for Waitrose keeping the rates relief.
However, he added that John Lewis was “entitled to every penny of government support it can lay its hands on”.
The “never knowingly undersold” retailer slumped to its first ever loss of £517 million in 2020.
Its number of department stores dropped from 51 to 34 in the same year as shops were closed over lockdown and sales were gutted by internet shopping.
The retailer plans to focus more on its online business and expects 70 per cent of orders to come from its website in the future.