May 24 2013 Latest news:
By shaun Lowthorpe, business editor
Friday, March 8, 2013
Gemma Williams and Nick Crowe received a pre-wedding bonus yesterday after being among 535 staff at Norwich’s John Lewis store to share in a 17pc bonus.
The couple, from Tacolneston, near Norwich, are due to get married next month and are making the final preparations for their big day.
And they celebrated the announcement yesterday with all their colleagues as the partnership unveiled its annual bonus figure.
The John Lewis Partnership said its 84,700 employees nationwide, including Waitrose staff, would receive the equivalent of nearly nine weeks’ pay after increasing its total bonus pot to £210.8m.
Staff will receive bonuses worth 17pc of salary after the group shrugged off tough high street conditions to report a 15.8pc surge in annual profits.
Miss Williams, a section manger at the store said: “It’s going to be spent on our wedding on April 6. We are going to the register office and then St Giles House Hotel, and we have bought a house and are about to move in June
“It’s really good news and all helps”.
Mr Crowe, 40, a customer support department manager, added: “I was really pleased. I’ve been with the partnership for 10 years and this is one of the better bonuses.
“We planned our wedding to be near this time and it’s a really nice addition to our funds.”
Maureen Lelievre, from Thorpe Marriott, near Norwich was given the task of revealing the bonus figure to staff. The 57-year-old, who works in business protection, was chosen as she celebrated 25 years with the firm last Friday. “I started here part-time when my daughter was really young,” she said. “I am saving my bonus for when I retire so that my husband and I can do all things we wanted to do such as travelling and enjoying the grandchildren.”
Daniel Thorpe, 25, from Old Catton in Norwich, is to take a career break from his job in menswear to go travelling.“It’s a fantastic feeling and a real buzz across the partnership when the bonus is announced,” he said. “I am going travelling for a year by train through Africa and have been saving my bonuses to put towards the trip.”
Robert Knights, 47, from Hellesdon, near Norwich, who works in the maintenance department, said: “I am going to do a motorbike tour in Wales and then on to Ireland over a fortnight. That’s where the money will be going.”
Richard Marks, managing director, at the Norwich store said the bonus came against a backdrop of a challenging retail environment, but the Norwich store had posted a 4.3pc sales increase and enjoyed record weeks in the run up to Christmas.
“We really saw the benefit of the £7m investment in 2011 with record weeks in the lead up to Christmas and particular success across women’s and men’s fashions and in electrical goods,” he said. “I would like to thank all our partners who continue to provide the high standards of service and shopping experience, which our customers have come to expect.”
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