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John Lewis takes axe to management

JLWaitrose19John Lewis is to abolish a third of head office management roles across John Lewis and Waitrose, as it unifies management of the two chains. 

Some 75 of 225 head office roles will be abolished, which the group says will eventually save it £100m.

‘Our current structure has served us well in the past, enabling us to develop two of the UK’s most loved and trusted brands. However, the lesson of the last two years is that we need more innovation, faster decision making and bolder steps to align our operating model with our strategy,’ says Sir Charlie Mayfield, John Lewis Partnership chairman.

He says the changes will: sharpen its focus on the customer, speeding up the development and roll-out of better products and services;

Harness the power of the Partnership’s two brands working more closely together (8 out of 10 customers who account for the greatest sales are customers of both John Lewis and Waitrose);

Develop and set strategy in one place, identifying and agreeing investment priorities and assigning its best talent to them;

Unlock the competitive advantage of front-line staff, giving them a greater say in the development of its offer and how it is delivered to customers;

Speed up decision-making, enabling the business to respond rapidly to customers’ needs and make internal and customer service systems more efficient and effective through developing common IT and supply chain platforms.

Seven executive roles will be created: brand, finance, people, operations, customer service, trading and strategy. The trading and strategy roles have yet to be filled. 

Paula Nickolds, currently John Lewis md will become executive director, brand, in charge of brand, digital, marketing and services. 

Rob Collins, Waitrose md will leave the business in January. ‘I have been closely involved in the planning of the Future Partnership programmeand I’m very confident that the new structure is the right one for the future. There isn’t a role in the new structure that I believe is right for me personally, and so I have decided to leave at the end of January,’ he says.