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John Lewis staff across Kent are celebrating a 15% bonus today.
The figure is equivalent to eight-weeks’ pay but is down on the 17% paid last year.
It comes as a result of the increased cost of servicing the group’s £840m pension deficit fund.
The partnership, which also owns Waitrose, saw pre-tax profits dip to £329.1m, down by £14.2m (4.1%).
Yet the company – owned by its 91,000 employees – is still marching forward with expansion plans, opening its John Lewis at Home store in Ashford in November.
Branch manager Glynis Gunning-Stevenson said: “We are delighted to have achieved all that we set out to do in the first 15 weeks of trading.
“It has been a great start for our partners, all now co-owners in our unique business and many of whom will be receiving their very first partnership bonus this year.
Tiffany Chittenden, 25, joined the store as a selling assistant in the nursery department. She is putting her bonus towards a deposit for her first house.
She said: “I was a full time mum for six years before joining the partnership when John Lewis at Home Ashford opened.
“It’s been an amazing few months and as everyone started at the same time it’s like an extended family.”
John Lewis also has stores at Bluewater and Tunbridge Wells.
Ken Ferguson, 46, has been a fitted kitchens partner at John Lewis Bluewater since October 2012. He is putting his bonus towards building a music studio in his back garden.
He said: “I’ve always been passionate about music and my bonus has really come in handy this year as I’ll finally have a dedicated space to practice and record.
“Working at John Lewis has allowed me to pursue my passion at work – I’m a member of the partnership music society and have made some great friends through this.”
John Lewis at Home Tunbridge Wells selling assistant Katie Varco, 24, said: “The bonus is a one of the great perks of working at John Lewis and it’s a really exciting day for all the staff.
“My bonus this year will go toward a new car. I’m driving a rusty old bucket at the moment that keeps breaking down, which is a big expense every time I need to take it to the garage. The bonus has come just at the right time for me.”
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