Store's 440 staff get a cash windfall
More than 440 staff working for John Lewis in Leicestershire are today celebrating cash bonuses of hundreds of pounds.
Each member of staff has received an extra 13 per cent of their annual salary after a successful year's trading.
Joyful John Lewis staff
All employees of the John Lewis Partnership are entitled to staff discount, a pension and a share of the profits.
For those on a salary of £15,000, it will work out as a bonus of £1,950 this year.
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The majority of the 442 John Lewis staff in Leicestershire work in the flagship Highcross department store.
Others work at Waitrose supermarket or on internet site Greenbee.com.
Delighted staff from the Highcross store told the Leicester Mercury today that they will spend their windfall on holidays, houses and weddings.
Manish Sudra, 24, from Belgrave, who works in kitchenware, says he will splash out on flying his family to India for his sister's wedding.
He said: "Rakhi is my younger sister and I want to do everything I can to make her day as special as possible, so this bonus has come at just the right time."
Catering manager Kalvin Coombe, 27, from Birstall, said: "Alongside my staff discount – another brilliant benefit – this will help us buy the essential furnishings needed for our new home."
John Lewis Partnership made profits of £280 million between January 2008 and January 2009.
The £127 million sale of its delivery company, Ocado, increased its yearly return to £407 million.
As a result, about 69,000 members of staff in the UK will receive a share of the £125 million of bonus payments that are being made this year.
Last year, before the recession started to bite, staff received a bonus of 20 per cent.
Charlie Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis Partnership, said: "It was a very tough year and we met the challenges of the deteriorating conditions.
"Our customers stayed loyal to John Lewis and Waitrose, and our partners (staff) worked harder than ever to provide the highest possible standards of customer service.
"The bonus announced today is well deserved and has been hard earned by all our partners."
Max Boden, policy manager at the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, said the bonus scheme was a great motivator for staff, but was unlikely to be adopted by other firms.
He said: "It's great news for the workers, but I can't see many companies following the footsteps of John Lewis Partnership.
"Unfortunately, not many companies operate like John Lewis, which has a unique common shareholder structure in place."
All employees are entitled to a share of the profit and a pension.
In a recent survey by Venuescore, Leicester was rated the 11th best place to shop in the UK, climbing five places.
The survey looked at cities across the UK. It ranked them in terms of the range of shops, from major department stores and supermarkets to clothing stores, leisure and multiple-retailer outlets.