Ipswich: Partners at Futura Park Waitrose and John Lewis at home stores back campaign for more employee-owned business

Partners at John Lewis at home and Waitrose in Ipswich wearing their Employee Ownership Day T-shirts

Partners at John Lewis at home and Waitrose in Ipswich wearing their Employee Ownership Day T-shirts - Credit: Archant

Partners working at the Waitrose and John Lewis at home stores in Ipswich have pledged their support to help create a new generation of employee-owned businesses.

Their commitment coincided with the UK’s first Employee Ownership Day, which aimed to raise awareness of the benefits of being a co-owned business – such as the John Lewis Partnership - to employees, other local businesses and the wider community.

Anna Moir, branch manager at John Lewis at home in Ipswich, said: “As a business, we have embraced co-ownership for almost 150 years, so there is a great belief in the long term success and stability of this business model.

“It’s not just the value and progression that individuals can get from working with us, but there’s considerable benefit to the local community as well. We’re proud to celebrate the first of many Employee Ownership Days.”

Research from the New Economic Forum (NEF) outlines how local people have benefited from John Lewis’s unique co-ownership structure in which all partners (employees) are co-owners and share the rewards of the business’ efforts.

The research shows that well-being among partners was between 10% and 15% above the national average, in part attributed to the partnership bonus, which this year represented 17% of annual wages. Between 20% and 25% of this bonus pay is subsequently spent at shops within the same local authority area, helping to stimulate the local economy.

Iain Hasdell, chief executive of the Employee Ownership Association, said: “Companies such as John Lewis are great examples of the success and engagement that can be achieved in an employee owned environment.

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“I am delighted to work on their behalf to celebrate Employee Ownership Day, and make it easier for other UK companies to follow their lead into employee ownership. And to have their support for our target of 10% of UK GDP to be generated by employee owned business by 2020.”