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Dame Sharon White, 53, took over as chairman of this employee-owned retailer at a time of unprecedented challenge. A week before her appointment in February, the managing directors of its two divisions — John Lewis and Waitrose — had left, and were recently replaced by Pippa Wicks and James Bailey. Its staff bonus was cut to the lowest in 67 years and by March 23 all 50 John Lewis stores had shut, 14,000 staff were on furlough, and Waitrose had implemented social distancing. John Lewis began reopening its department stores from June 15, but some will reportedly stay shut. It has borrowed £300m from the Bank of England.

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Company details
Year2020
Rank5
CompanyJohn Lewis Partnership
ActivityFood and general retailer
LocationCentral London
Sales £m10,151
Profit £m888
Year endJan 20
Principal shareholdersEmployees (100%)
Staff80,700
Founded1864
Websitewww.johnlewispartnership.co.uk

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure **Estimated