UK's John Lewis considers 11,000 job cuts, Guardian reports

FILE PHOTO: Branding and signage is seen at the John Lewis and Partners retail store in Oxford Street, London, Britain

(Reuters) -John Lewis Partnership, the owner of John Lewis and Waitrose, is considering cutting up to 11,000 staff jobs in the next five years, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

A minimum of 10% of the staff-owned business's workforce could be affected across the group's head office, supermarkets and department stores, the report said, citing sources.

The number of roles are expected to be gradually reduced over the years without replacement, the report added.

"The John Lewis Partnership has a plan to return to profit, which involves investing heavily to enhance our customer offer, technology, stores and becoming more efficient," the company said in response to a Reuters request for comment.

"This is working and performance is improving, but as we have already announced, that sadly means reducing the number of Partners we need in our business," it added.

The British retailer warned last March it would have to cut staff numbers and scrap any bonus last year after its customers cut back on spending, prompting its annual loss to balloon.

The 159-year-old group has been struggling in recent years amid tough competition and the costs of developing its online offering.

John Lewis chair Sharon White, who will step down in 2025, also said in September last year that its turnaround will take two years longer than planned and cost more money due to inflationary pressures.

(Reporting by Devika Nair in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Rishabh Jaiswal; Editing by William Maclean and Giles Elgood)