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John Lewis bonus lowest since 1954 as profits plunge

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John Lewis has paid out its lowest bonus to staff in 65 years as profits plunged last year amid “challenging” trading.

The retail partnership – which includes Waitrose supermarkets – said staff would receive a 3% bonus, the lowest since 1954 when workers received 4%.

The annual staff bonus has been reduced every year for the past five years due to difficult trading conditions.

Profits at the partnership sank last year by more than 45% to £160m.

The company said the overall retail market continued to be “challenging”.

“That’s evident in our results, especially in John Lewis & Partners, where we saw near constant discounting across many categories from October onwards in response to the combination of subdued demand, excess retail space and some other retailers’ distress,” it said.

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