Co-operative News Reports on the Success of John Lewis

Co-operative News Reports on the Success of John Lewis

This story by Co-operative News has increased my fascination with the John Lewis retail chain, known as the John Lewis Partnership (JLP): a British retail chain owned by 91,000 employees.

JLP, which also owns Waitrose, is going to pay all of its employees the equivalent to almost 8 weeks pay as a bonus for its 2013 performance. This reward might not seem lavish, but to me the scale of this successful enterprise is what is truly impressive.

Co-operative News (itself a co-op which I look forward to writing about in a future post), quotes a professor at Cass Business School, Ajay Bhalla.

“So, what drives the success of a firm such as JLP?,” asked Prof Bhalla. “Our research here at Cass shows that the ownership culture of employee-owned businesses, which supports higher employee engagement and links employee initiative-taking to superior performance, is at the heart of success of firms such as John Lewis.”

What a great example of sharing wealth, and in this case, benefitting 91,000 people. But there is something else about JLP: longevity. John Lewis gave the partnership to the employees in 1929! There’s a lot to be learned here.

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