White: JLP ‘back on track’ and at ‘watershed moment’

Sharon White, John Lewis Partnership chairman says the John Lewis and Waitrose group ‘back on track’ after years of store closures, job losses and record losses.

‘We’re back on track and much more fit for the future. This is a launch pad for the next phase of growth for the business and to be frank we’re in as solid a position as we could be given the five years we’ve had,’ she told The Telegraph.

White, who is due to officially step down in September after just five years in the role. -the shortest in the group’s history, says unlike many of its high street peers the group is still trading and posed for growth.

‘Look at the high street names that aren’t here, but were here in 2019. The fact that we’ve come through it, the business has got momentum and the team is in place for a smooth transition. I’ve felt incredibly lucky.

‘We’ve come through once in a generation events over the last five years. We’ve had the pandemic and we’ve had inflation at a level we haven’t seen since the 1970s. We’ve come through that as a partnership with all the upsides of the partnership – transparency, service, long-term focus – intact.

‘I would say it’s a watershed moment. Some of the difficult decisions we took over the last year mean that we’re now generating more cash as a business.’

John Lewis Partnership chair Dame Sharon White has insisted that the business is “back on track” and has got momentum behind it as she prepares to stand down in September.

White, who will hand over the reins to incoming chair Jason Tarry after a five year tenure – the shortest in the partnership’s history, told The Telegraph: “We’re back on track and much more fit for the future. This is a launch pad for the next phase of growth for the business and to be frank we’re in as solid a position as we could be given the five years we’ve had.”

She continued “

White, whose tenure at John Lewis was blighted by both the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, said: “We’ve come through once in a generation events over the last five years. We’ve had the pandemic and we’ve had inflation at a level we haven’t seen since the 1970s. We’ve come through that as a partnership with all the upsides of the partnership – transparency, service, long-term focus – intact.

“I would say it’s a watershed moment. Some of the difficult decisions we took over the last year mean that we’re now generating more cash as a business.”

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