Partners at John Lewis Partnership (JLP) will each get a bonus worth 15% of their salary, the retailer said today, as it announced that it had achieved annual sales of over £10bn for the first time.
In the year to January 25 2014, the John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarket business drove sales up 6.6% to £10.2bn. At John Lewis, sales rose 7.5% to £4.1bn, while at Waitrose they were up 6.0% to £6.1bn. Like-for-like sales rose 6.4% and 5.1% respectively.
Operating profit was up 4.3% at John Lewis, to £226.1m, and 6.1% at Waitrose, to £310.1m. Profit before Partnership bonus, tax and an exceptional item was up by 9.6%, but fell 4.1% to £329.1m after the exceptional item, which concerns pension liabilities and holiday payments.
JLP said omni-channel capability and innovation had been key to success at John Lewis, delivering growth in both shops and online, with shops significantly outperforming the high street and sales at johnlewis.com up 19.2% to £1.1bn.
Click-and-collect grew especially strongly, up 57%, boosted by the added convenience to shoppers of being able to pick up from Waitrose. Mobile also grew rapidly during the year, with visits from phones and tablets now accounting for 50% of traffic to johnlewis.com.
In 2013 a John Lewis at Home shop opened in Ashford, Kent, and this year will see the launch of a full-line flexible format shop in York, and the retailer's smallest shop to date at Heathrow's Terminal 2. Future openings are also planned for Birmingham, Leeds, Westfield White City, Oxford, Chelmsford, Horsham and Basingstoke.
Meanwhile, JLP said the current year had also started well, with John Lewis stores' gross sales 5.7% higher than last year.
"There are more encouraging signs for the economy as a whole," commented JLP chairman Charlie Mayfield, "and, although this has not yet come through as a significant increase in consumer spending, I'm cautiously optimistic that we will see improvements this year."