John Lewis staff in Leicester's Highcross celebrate 17% bonus
Staff at department store John Lewis were celebrating yesterday after it was announced they will receive a 17 per cent bonus.
All employees within the John Lewis Partnership, which also owns supermarket chain Waitrose, will receive the payment – including 400 members of staff at the branch in Leicester's Highcross.
The bonus is equivalent to nearly nine weeks' pay, according to company bosses.
The company has announced sales across the John Lewis Partnership were up by 9.3 per cent last year, while pre-tax profits rose by 15 per cent to £452.4 million.
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About 250 employees in Leicester gathered in the staff canteen at 9am to hear the announcement, which was delivered by catering assistant Ryan Monaghan, who was voted partner of the quarter by his fellow workers.
Ryan, 22, who lives near Scraptoft, said: "I opened the envelope and when I saw it was 17 per cent I told everyone, 'it's good'.
"When I showed them all they started cheering and screaming.
"I think I'm going to spend the money on a holiday to Ibiza and the rest on clothes."
Sandra Dent, who is section manager for beauty and has worked for John Lewis for three years, is planning to spend her bonus on a vintage ring she can pass on to her grandchildren.
The 50-year-old from Sileby, a grandmother-of-five, said: "Every year there's always a great buzz about what the bonus will be and everyone has a guess. It was a great surprise to find out.
"I love jewellery and I want to buy a piece that will one day be an heirloom – I wouldn't normally have the chance to do something like this."
Jenny Carter, 27, section manager for the furniture department, will use her bonus to fund a three-week road trip along America's Route 66.
She said: "Everyone was clapping and cheering and there was genuine surprise it was such a big number because the economic climate is still tough.
Cliff Vanstone, managing director of the Leicester store, said: "Today is a wonderful day because the partners get to share the results of their hard work.
"Against the backdrop of what has been a challenging year for retail, we are pleased to have put in a robust performance during the year at John Lewis Leicester."
John Lewis is a co-operative, owned by its staff or "partners", who get paid some of its profits every year in the form of bonuses.
Last year the store, which opened nearly five years ago, had its most successful Christmas to date, with sales up by 4.3 per cent.
In contrast, rival Debenhams said sales fell by 10 per cent in the last two weeks of January. Bosses claimed bad weather was to blame.