Staff at John Lewis and Waitrose in Exeter are looking forward to spending an annual bonus of 17 per cent of their salary – equivalent to nearly nine weeks’ pay.
This year’s bonus figure was announced to excited employees this morning as the John Lewis Partnership reported a profit before partnership bonus and tax of £409.6m, up 15.8 per cent on last year.
A whopping £210.8m of that is being shared out to employees – known as partners – in the form of a bonus. Holidays and new bikes are among the plans staff in Exeter have for the windfall.
Last year they received a bonus of 14 per cent of salary.
Waitrose reported a 6.7 per cent rise in gross sales, to £5.76bn, during the year to January 26. John Lewis saw gross sales up 13.5 per cent to £3.78bn.
The John Lewis store in Exeter, which opened in October, was one of four new shops to open during the year and the first of a new format for the retailer.
Kate Connock, branch manager of John Lewis Exeter, said: “Against the backdrop of a challenging retail environment we are pleased to have put in a robust performance this year.
“Since opening in October 2012, John Lewis Exeter has been warmly welcomed by the Devon and Cornwall community. Both womenswear and menswear and fashion accessories have been the outstanding successes so far.
“It has been a great start for John Lewis Exeter and I would like to thank all of our partners who continue to focus on building lasting relationships with customers￼ and provide the high standards of service and shopping experience our customers expect.”
Staff are already looking forward to spending their bonuses.
Section manager Kit Washington has worked for John Lewis for five years and recently returned to his home￼ city of Exeter to work in the new shop. This year he will be spending his bonus on a new road bike as he prepares to embark on a number of organised rides for charity.
He said: “London 2012 really inspired me to take up a new sport so when my colleague suggested this challenge I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do so. I spent last year’s bonus on a new guitar and I’m still playing it, which bodes well for the bike!”
Section manager Jemma Sloman has been a member of staff for four and a half years. She started at John Lewis Leicester but when the opportunity came to transfer￼ to the new Exeter shop she jumped at the chance because it is where she grew up and her parents still live.
Jemma will be putting her bonus towards a once in a lifetime holiday to America, where she’ll be spending three weeks road tripping along Route 66 with a friend who works at John Lewis Leicester.
Jemma said: “I normally use my bonus to pay off bills but this year I thought I would treat myself and do something I’ve always wanted to do.
“Going to Las Vegas and exploring Chicago is what I’m most looking forward to. The John Lewis bonus really captures what co-ownership is all about – you reap the benefits of the hard work and effort you’ve put in throughout the year.”