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John Lewis announces plans to make nearly 400 staff redundant

john Lewis Leeds 725 x 500

John Lewis has today announced to some Partners details of proposed changes to ways of working, which will improve the customer experience, resulting in a more efficient way of operating, and ultimately create more rewarding roles for Partners.

The proposals come as the John Lewis Partnership accelerates its strategy to adapt to changing customer needs against a backdrop of structural changes in the retail industry. This will mean a period of change, investment and innovation for the business.

We expect the proposal to lead to around 387 fewer roles overall. Under these proposals, around 773 Partners will enter a period of consultation and 386 new jobs will be created. Under the plans, new roles would enable Partners to work more flexibly and ultimately open up opportunities for more skilled roles with more potential for career progression. The new proposed ways of working will be supported by new technologies and processes all of which will enable the Partnership to deliver a better customer experience.

The two proposals Partners have heard about today are:

  • Home Estimation and Fitting services - In response to changes in how our customers shop for these services, across both shops and online, as well as growing sales, we are proposing to move to a regional model for our curtains, blinds, and floor covering Estimators and Fitters so that customers will receive a seamless service wherever they live and however they shop with us. These proposals will allow us to broaden our services and increase our flexibility, enabling us to offer more appointments at times which better suit our customers. The proposed changes will also create more skilled roles for Partners who will receive additional training and gain new skills. 

We also propose to create a single central Customer Administration Hub to manage customer orders, which will replace the current individual branch administration teams. To support the creation of this new team, and strengthen our customer Administration proposition, we are setting up a new training facility and creating an improved Estimator and Fitter booking system.

  • Catering - We propose to extend the catering model which we have been successfully using in a third of our shops for some time, and which has been well received by customers. The new catering model uses a centrally created menu with high-quality ingredients and requires less 'on-site' preparation. This new model will enable us to change our menu more regularly to keep up with trends, more easily meet the dietary requirements of customers, and give a more consistent offering across all of our shops. As part of this proposal, Partners will be able to take on more rewarding roles that allow them to learn skills across the entire breadth of activities in our catering operations. 

Dino Rocos, Operations Director at John Lewis, said: 'Our Partners are passionate about offering the very best customer service and these proposals will allow us to modernise our business as it adapts to the changing needs of our customers and the role that shops play in their lives.

'The proposed new structure will allow us to harness Partners' knowledge and skills, giving them more scope to be in the right place at the right time to deliver great service to our customers when and where it's needed. We understand that for some this will mean a period of change, and we are working with affected Partners over the consultation period to give opportunities for redeployment in new roles wherever possible.'

Source : John Lewis Press Release 

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23 February 2017

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