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The John Lewis Partnership has also announced that staff members will not receive a bonus for the first time since 1953 due to the store closures. Dame Sharon White, chairwoman of the retail group, told partners that the statement “will come as a blow”.
John Lewis said it posted a £55million loss for the six months after they struggled to keep up with the high costs.
Dame Sharon said: “The pandemic has brought forward changes in consumer shopping habits which might have taken five years into five months.
“Both brands entered the crisis with strong and established online businesses and in the case of Waitrose, plans for expansion well under way in preparation for the end of the relationship with Ocado.
“Our digital businesses have been key to underpinning our first half performance.”
Stores which won’t be reopening include the Watford and Birmingham flagship stores as well as six others.
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