• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Business

New government should ensure stable economic growth, says John Lewis chief

Nish Kankiwala felt the political and economic turbulence of recent years has damaged consumer confidence, and the new government should provide stability

Nish Kankiwala. (Photo: Alpha Press)

By: Shajil Kumar

John Lewis Partnership chief executive Nish Kankiwala wants the next government in the UK to provide a stable environment for economic growth and restore consumers confidence.

Kankiwala felt the political and economic turbulence of recent years has damaged consumer confidence and families have been struggling with rising inflation.

He said the only stability will ensure that people feel confident to purchase big-ticket items.

The comments by a top official from Britain’s prominent brand reflect a broadly held sentiment in business that the election offers a chance to reset the economy, Sky News reports.

In recent years, the UK economy has faced volatility and uncertainty, and the worst phase was during the brief tenure of Liz Truss.

John Lewis Partnership reported its first full-year profit since the pandemic on Thursday (14), and Kankiwala claimed it was driven by an additional one million customers across the two brands, John Lewis stores and Waitrose supermarkets.

He said this growth happened despite a bleak environment.

Though there will be no bonus for the 76,000 staff, Kankiwala assured they would receive the company’s largest-ever pay rise, with nearly two-thirds of employees getting a salary hike of over 10 per cent.

Reacting to reports that John Lewis may axe 11,000 jobs in the coming years, he conceded that there would be redundancies but insisted that no formal target has been set.

Kankiwala said they have a clear growth plan, both in terms of sale volume and margins, and there is a sharp focus on retail.

He said John Lewis has dropped the current chair Dame Sharon White’s goal to diversify to non-retail businesses.

Dame Sharon’s five-year tenure is expected to end this year.

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