Can John Lewis struggle through the retail storm battering the UK high street?

Dating service
John Lewis
John Lewis is set to update the City this week on its half year results

If you’re curious about the fate of John Lewis and Waitrose, it’s not good news. 

This time last year the partnership, which owns both businesses, admitted its profits were virtually zero. On Thursday it will likely say it is hemorrhaging cash when it updates the City on its half year numbers. 

The department store is stubbornly holding on to its “never knowingly undersold” price pledge, which is at the heart of its problems. Because of it, John Lewis has to follow where distressed rivals such as House of Fraser and Debenhams go with their discount bonanza.

Outgoing chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield, who has been with the business for two decades, has so far vowed not to ditch the principle, although...

To continue reading this article

Start a 30-day free trial for unlimited access to Premium articles

  • Unlimited access to Premium articles 
  • Subscriber-only events and experiences
  • Cancel any time

Free for 30 days

then only £2 per week

Save 25% with an annual subscription

Just £75 per year


Register for free and access one Premium article per week

Only subscribers have unlimited access to Premium articles.
Register for free to continue reading this article
Or unlock all Premium articles.
Free for 30 days, then just £1 per week