Staff at Peterborough’s John Lewis cheered with delight after discovering they will get an 11 per cent bonus in their pay packets.
The 550 members of staff at the upmarket department store in the Queensgate shopping centre were told early today of the size of their annual bonus pay out.
It is roughly equivalent to six weeks’ pay for many members of staff or partners as they are known at John Lewis.
Although the bonus is four per cent less than last year, which itself was two per cent down on 2013, no one seemed to mind.
Gemma Wright (31)) office manager, said: “We are still very delighted with the size of the bonus.”
Mrs Wright, who has worked for the retailer for 14 years, said the extra cash would help pay to take her two daughters and husband on their first skiing trip together in Austria.
She said: “I wanted to use the money for something that was fun.”
Store managing director Paul Marsden said: “Although the bonus is lower than last year it is not disheartening.
“It is something our partners are delighted about.
“We did a poll of our partners before the announcement to find how much they thought the bonus would be and most of the replies came in around 12 per cent.
“So, I think most of our partners expected a bonus of this size.”
The fall in the annual bonus has been blamed on the supermarket prices wars that have led to a slump in the profits of the grocery chain Waitrose, which is part of the John Lewis Partnership.
Figures show that to the end of the last financial year, Waitrose sales nationally were up 4.6 per cent but profits plunged 24.4 per cent.
At John Lewis, sales rose by 7.5 per cent and profits were up by 10.4 per cent.
Mr Marsden said it was not a case of the business being pulled down by Waitrose.
He said: “The two businesses complement each other. There have been times when John Lewis has had rough years.”
The bonus payment is the second reason for celebration among the partners at John Lewis Peterborough.
The store has just been named as the branch of the year - the best of all of John Lewis’ 41 stores across the country.
Mr Marsden said: “It is a brilliant accolade. It is the first time we have won this in our 33 year history.
“All 550 of us have played our part in achieving this award.”