John Lewis is looking to extend its online home delivery service to 27 countries by this August the partnership has announced. New countries will include the USA, Singapore and Australia.
The company is ploughing £233m of investment into new store, systems and online initiatives, the most far-reaching of which is a plan to deliver goods ordered online to 11 European countries, including Ireland, France and Germany, from June, and a further 16 beyond Europe by August – including Singapore, the US, New Zealand and Australia. John Lewis
confirmed it will target the cities of New York, Sydney and Auckland – which all have big expatriate communities, and a confirmed interest in the qunitessentially British brand. Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, said: "This is about us being confident there will be real demand from the expat market." He said there are no plans to open stores in these countries however.
The John Lewis Partnership delivered a 20 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to £367.9m for the 12 months to 29 January. The impressive performance has enabled JLP to pay its 76,500 employees a bonus of 18 per cent of annual salary – equal to more than nine weeks' pay – from a total pot of £194.5m. The group pays all employees, from the chairman to sales assistants, the same percentage bonus.
While both John Lewis department stores and Waitrose are performing well, JLP's chairman, Charlie Mayfield, said consumer spending was under intense pressure and confidence ‘fragile’. He was hopeful it would improve from the spring.