STAFF at John Lewis in Solihull have been praised by their boss for helping the department store get through a tough trading year.
Like-for-like sales at the Touchwood store were down 6.3 per cent over the 12 months, compared with a drop of 3.4 per cent across the group’s outlets nationally.
The John Lewis Partnership, which is co-owned by its 69,000 staff - known as partners - saw overall profits tumble by more than £100 million as sales were hit hard by the consumer downturn.
The Solihull store, where 550 people work, is the flagship business in Touchwood and is seen as a bellwether in the performance of local retailers
Karen Lord, the store’s managing director, said: “Although the more challenging trading environment has meant a tough year for sales at John Lewis Solihull, partners from all corners of the store and the service building have pulled together like never before to end on a real high.
“January saw an amazing bounce back in sales which enabled audio and television, children’swear and beauty to finish the full year with record results, which gave everyone a real boost. New brands have appeared across the store.”
Staff at the group, which includes upmarket supermarket Waitrose, will share a bonus pot of £125.5 million, well down on the previous year.
John Lewis has started a redundancy consultation process with the non-shop floor staff in its department stores. The move involves up to 20 people per shop, it said.