MORE than 90,000 John Lewis and Waitrose staff have seen their annual bonus cut to 10 per cent of their annual salary.
The payout was cut for the third year in a row after staff were handed 11 per cent last year, 15 per cent the year before and 17 per cent in 2013.
But John Smith, manager of Knight and Lee in Southsea, part of the John Lewis chain, did not dwell on the decreasing bonus.
He said: ‘Bonus day is the perfect time to thank our partners (staff) for their hard work and commitment in providing customers with a pleasurable shopping experience.
‘In an ever changing competitive market, John Lewis Knight and Lee has continued to perform well.
‘Over the last year improvements have continued in the shop and our customers are enjoying the results of these positive changes.’
And there was positive reaction on Twitter where staff said the bonus was actually better than they had expected.
The group’s results came under pressure as the supermarket price war continued to impact Waitrose, which saw operating profits fall to £232.6m for the full year, down from £237.4m over the period before. Like-for-like sales excluding petrol also fell back, down 1.3 per cent.
Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said the group had delivered a ‘healthy trading performance’ and bolstered market share despite the challenging trading conditions.
He added: ‘Market conditions were challenging through the year with deflation in grocery of –2.6% and subdued demand in non-food.
‘Quality, value and product innovation were therefore all the more important alongside greater convenience and service. Our partners performed well on all those fronts and did so while controlling costs tightly and increasing margin.’
Online sales and its click-and-collect service continued to strengthen, with the collection of John Lewis orders from Waitrose up 19 per cent.
John Lewis said that trading conditions would remain difficult, especially in food retailing, but it expected to perform comparatively well against its rivals.