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John Lewis says house rental to provide growing share of profits

Retail giant John Lewis says it is expecting 40 per cent of its profits to come from non-retail activities such as housing over the next decade.

The department store recently admitted that its retail property portfolio is now worth little more than half of its value 18 months ago. 

Last year, John Lewis Partnership found 20 of its current John Lewis and Waitrose sites for the building of what it calls “quality and sustainable housing.” 

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The plans come after the company reported a £517m pre-tax loss for 2020, and being forced to write down the value of its property portfolio by some £648m.

“With retail margins declining and the partnership wishing to return more benefit to partners, customers and communities, we are aiming that, by 2030, 40 per cent of our profits will come from areas outside retail, namely financial services, housing and outdoor living” a statement from the company says. 

 

 

The residential properties will fall under the Build To Rent category, and are likely to be managed by an established lettings company. The furniture in the properties will come from John Lewis stores; food delivery options for tenants will be from Waitrose.

This is part of a five-year plan to deliver £400m pre-tax profit annually.

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