As of next week the John Lewis Partnership, which owns both the department store and supermarket chain, is expected to put 12 supermarkets up for a sale and leaseback scheme, which allows the group to keep its stores but cash in on the value of the property.
The affected stores will mostly be in the south east of England and will hold 20-year inflation-linked leases, according to the Telegraph.
It comes after the troubled partnership lost another £59million in the first half of this year, reports said.
Chairwoman Dame Sharon White has also put in place large cost cutting targets as the partnership aims to cut £900million worth of costs by January 2026.
John Lewis has suffered from surging inflation and the need to invest more into the business (stock image)
John Lewis reportedly plans to sell a dozen of its Waitrose stores (stock image)
Chairwoman Dame Sharon White has also put in place large cost cutting targets
She had vowed the company would make an annual profit of £400million by 2026, but the targeted date has been pushed back to 2028.
John Lewis, which last year ditched its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold‘ promise to consumers after saying it ‘doesn’t fit with how customers shop today’, has suffered from surging inflation and the need to invest more into the business.
The group also said it is facing a £12 million jump in the cost of shoplifting.
Bosses at the retail giant blamed a surge in organised crime earlier this month.
Dame Sharon White told reporters that the recent spate in shoplifting at stores was driven by ‘crime groups’ rather than thefts linked to the soaring cost of living.
The retailer called on the Government to change legislation in the England and Wales to make it a criminal offence to abuse shop workers, in line with current rules in Scotland.
Last month, Waitrose said it was offering free tea and coffee to police officers in an effort to boost their presence around stores.
Lucy Brown, director of security for the John Lewis Partnership, who oversees security at both Waitrose and John Lewis, told MailOnline: ‘Some shops are targeted every day, others several times a day. And we’re fortunate because we’re not the worst hit,’ she said.
‘We’ve seen a real increase post-Covid. We don’t believe it’s linked to the cost of living. You have people living chaotic lives with substance abuse who are stealing to fund their habits.
‘Another major problem – which is new – are organised criminal gangs. They spend as much time shoplifting as we do on our normal jobs. They will target Tube routes, road networks and steal to order.
‘There have been gangs operating across north London going from shop to shop and threatening teams with violence.
MailOnline has contacted John Lewis for comment.
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