After six months of turmoil, John Lewis can only hope for better

The retailer had ‘lost its way’ even before Covid-19 forced stores to close. So this week’s results will not be pretty

It has been a torrid year for middle-class favourite John Lewis, and this week the retailer, which is in the midst of a revolution under new boss Sharon White, will lay bare the damage coronavirus is wreaking on its finances.

A heavy first-half loss is anticipated from its department stores, which were struggling before the pandemic struck. As a reminder, the shops were closed for three of the six months under scrutiny. In July, White confirmed that eight of the group’s 50 outlets, including its sprawling Birmingham branch, were closed for good.

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