John Lewis & Partners cuts marketing spend and pauses spring campaign

John Lewis: launched spring campaign earlier this month
John Lewis: launched spring campaign earlier this month

It is also temporarily closing all 50 stores by end of Monday for the first time in 155-year history.

John Lewis & Partners is reducing its marketing spend and pausing its spring campaign as it becomes the latest retailer to temporarily close its stores as a result of the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The company will be shutting all of its 50 department stores by the end of Monday for the first time in its 155-year history.

In a statement released today (Saturday), John Lewis is also taking steps to reduce spend to "protect our liquidity as far as possible". This includes "deferring or cancelling discretionary spend".

It added: "We currently have more than £500m of annual discretionary revenue spend. We are reducing non-essential spend at all levels, freezing non-essential recruitment and reducing marketing spend."

The retailer told Campaign that it has "paused" its first-ever spring product TV campaign, created by Adam & Eve/DDB, which launched on 9 March.

John Lewis will also reduce the amount of "general merchandise to reflect the impact of our temporary shop closures".

The statement added that the "extraordinary volatility" has made it "difficult" to make predictions for full-year cash flow and profits.

With much of the country staying at home, John Lewis expects that food sales "may peak further"; fashion sales to decline; and spend for electricals and home technology, as well as some home product lines, to rise "as people continue to work from home and need to stay connected".

John Lewis continued: "Our current scenario, which takes into account the temporary closure of our John Lewis department stores, and models a significant net cash outflow in the year, shows that we have sufficient liquidity."

All 338 Waitrose stores will remain open.

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