JUST what would you do with a bonus payout of nine weeks’ pay?
That was the lovely dilemma facing some 800 employees at a Milton Keynes store this week when the John Lewis Partnership announced an 18 per cent bonus bonanza.
Mags Cramphorn, 27, who is a section manager, visual merchandising, at John Lewis in thecentre:mk is planning to travel to Ibiza with 12 of her good friends in the summer. She’ll also be saving a wedge of cash to go towards her first home.
She said: “I really wanted to do something a bit different to celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday this year, so organising a trip out to Ibiza with 12 good friends seemed like a great idea. The money from my bonus will really help to make the holiday very special.”
The John Lewis Partnership is owned by its employees and distributes profit to its partners rather than to shareholders. Every March all employees receive the same percentage of pay as a bonus. last year the bonus was 15 per cent.
While the high street in general is struggling, it seems the John Lewis Partnership is offering customers things they are prepared to pay for.
Paul Hunt, managing director of John Lewis Milton Keynes, said shop sales increased by more than 5 per cent with fashion and home sales steaming ahead by more than 7 per cent. Sales of technology were level across the year but boosted by people buying digital TV equipment ahead of the switch over.
Mr Hunt added the internet had been crucial. He said: “In the last year our customers have really got behind our multi channel approach to retailing, with total sales rising by over 16 per cent, this being driven by the convenience of ordering on-line or in shop and collecting from the shop the next day.
“We are particularly pleased with our progress in fashion this year and look forward to continuing to please our customers with this element of our assortment.
“The team of Partners at John Lewis Milton Keynes, just short of 800 people, has worked hard to delight our loyal customers and we are pleased with the positive feedback that we have received. The results announced today are something that we can all be proud of and despite the ongoing tough retail market we will be doing all we can to ensure that we remain the shop of choice in Milton Keynes.”
In the year to January 29 the national partnership’s sales rose by more than 10 per cent to £8.21billion. Profits before the £194.5million bonus and tax went up 20 per cent to £367.9m.