Ipswich: 17% bonus for partners at Waitrose and John Lewis

Staff are celebrating their first John Lewis Partnership bonus of 17 % at the newly opened John Lewi

Staff are celebrating their first John Lewis Partnership bonus of 17 % at the newly opened John Lewis/Waitrose store in Nacton. Paul Reeley (Waitrose) and Anna Moir (John Lewis) hold up the figure . Staff were all given balloons to pop and the bonus figure was written on a ticket in two balloons. - Credit: Archant

STAFF at the new John Lewis Partnership in Ipswich are celebrating after receiving a 17% bonus - the equivalent of nine weeks’ pay.

The amount was kept a closely guarded secret until yesterday when dozens of staff at the John Lewis and Waitrose stores at Futura Park popped balloons to find two golden tickets.

Employees, Valerie Kitridge and Shirley Detheridge, were the lucky pair to get the tickets meaning they opened the envelopes to reveal the bonus sum.

Anna Moir, branch manager of John Lewis at Home, said: “I’m absolutely delighted and what makes it more special is that we get to celebrate the success of opening this new store in Ipswich.

“Since opening the new John Lewis at home in Ipswich, we have been delighted with our performance, against the backdrop of a challenging retail environment.”

Staff are ‘partners’ in the business, meaning that every year, they are in line for a bonus when the full-year results are announced, depending on the chain stores’ national performance.

Last year, staff received bonuses worth 14% of their salary - the equivalent of more than seven weeks’ pay.

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She added: “It feels great to be rewarding our new partners with a bonus.

“Many of our partners only joined us four months ago and they have been on a very fast and rewarding journey, since we opened John Lewis at home Ipswich in November 2012.

“I would like to thank all of our partners who continue to provide the high standards of service and shopping experience our customers have come to expect.”

The John Lewis Partnership said its 84,700 employees across the country will receive the equivalent of nearly nine weeks’ pay after increasing its total bonus pot to £210.8million by posting a 15.8% surge in annual profits.

James Brown, section manager for electrical and cookshop at John Lewis at Home, said he would be using his bonus towards renovating newly-bought his first home in Ipswich.

“I’m new to the business but have worked in retail for the last four years and this is such a fantastic way to inspire and motivate the partners in the business,” the 22-year-old added. “It’s something I have never had before.”

Fellow employee Sally Farrow, branch operations assistant, is using her bonus for a deposit for a family skiing holiday in Bulgaria next year.

Mrs Farrow, who lives in Kesgrave, said: “I have always wanted to go skiing and I seem to be becoming a bit of a daredevil as I get older so I decided that’s one thing to cross off the list.”

The employee-owned firm reported pre-tax, pre-bonus profits of £409.6million for the 12 months to January 26 and said the current year had started well.