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Corporate restructuring could mean job cuts at John Lewis HQ

Published
today Sep 23, 2019
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John Lewis may be one of the UK’s more successful department store chains but that doesn’t mean the company is firing on all cylinders at present and a string of disappointing results in recent periods means a corporate restructuring could be on the cards.


John Lewis's Style Studio - Sandra Halliday



That’s according to a report in the Sunday Times which claimed that parent company John Lewis Partnership wants to more closely align its eponymous department stores and its upscale Waitrose supermarkets chain.

Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield is believed to be looking at reducing the duplication of roles at the two businesses and that would mean job losses.

As well as aligning the two retail chains to function in a complementary way in this omnichannel world, the restructure would also cut costs for the firm that has seen profits dented both by markdowns and investment for growth. It recently reported its first-ever half-year loss.

Sources told the newspaper that Mayfield has drawn up plans that could affect departments such as marketing, procurement, HR and finance. At present, the two chains have separate departments for these roles.

There are also three operating boards in three different head offices for the parent company and for each of the two chains.

The company is set to get a new chair, Sharon White, to replace Mayfield and the newspaper said that the planned changes will be revealed ahead of her arrival.

That said, he needs to get agreement from the firm’s employee body for any moves that mean 12 job cuts or more. John Lewis hasn’t commented on the story.

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