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There’s no justification for Waitrose keeping its Covid rate relief cash | Nils Pratley

Dame Sharon White made the wrong call in not following the lead of the supermarket chain’s rivals

On the face of it, you might think the John Lewis Partnership is entitled to every penny of government support it can lay its hands on. It’s just reported a thumping annual loss of £517m as it took a £648m hit against the value of its department stores, eight of which closed for good last July. If pandemic support was designed to help businesses in crisis and minimise job losses, what’s the problem?

It’s the fact that the picture was very different at Waitrose, recipient of £85m of the partnership’s overall tally of £190m of government support. The supermarket chain’s sales were up 10% and top-line profits improved by £82m to £1.1bn.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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