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Waitrose Owner Eyes End Of 100% Staff Ownership: Reports

By Donna Ahern
Waitrose Owner  Eyes End Of 100% Staff Ownership: Reports

British retailer John Lewis, which has been 100% owned by its staff, is considering diluting its partnership structure, The Sunday Times reported on Saturday.

The report said that the company would consider selling only a minority stake and its priority would be to maintain majority employee ownership.

Chairperson Sharon White is in the early stages of exploring a plan to change the retailer's mutual structure so it can try to raise between £1 billion and £2 billion ($1.22 billion-$2.44 billion) of new investment, the report said.

Employee-Centric Values

Any outside investor would have to share the partnership's employee-centric values, the report added.


The company, which runs John Lewis department stores and grocer Waitrose, said on Friday it would have to cut staff numbers and scrap bonuses this year, flagging an uncertain outlook as customers struggle with inflation.

"We’ve always said we would seek partnerships to help fund our transformation and exciting growth plans," John Lewis said in a statement at the weekend, citing previous partnerships with Ocado in the past and a current joint venture with investment firm abrdn.

"Our Partners, who own the business, will be the first to hear about any developments."

Waitrose Price Cuts 

Last month, upmarket British supermarket group Waitrose said that it will spend £100 million ($122 million) to cut prices on over 300 own-brand products as it fights to retain customers amid record industry inflation.


After a tough 2022, British consumers are facing an even tighter squeeze on their finances this year. Inflation is running at over 10%, mortgage rates are rising and the government is cutting back support on household energy bills

Read More: British Supermarket Waitrose Commits £100m To Price Cuts

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more retail stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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