Sharon White - New Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership

Source: John Lewis

White has pledged that John Lewis will always be employee-owned

John Lewis chair Dame Sharon White has won a confidence vote on her future leadership but lost a second ballot cast by the retailer’s partnership council on last year’s performance (The Financial Times £).

Dame Sharon White, the chairwoman of the John Lewis Partnership, has pledged that the retailer will “always be employee-owned” as she won support from staff in a confidence vote over her leadership (The Times £).

The boss of John Lewis pledged the group will always remain employee-owned, “no ifs, no buts”, after staff backed her to continue as chair but expressed their dismay at the retailer’s poor performance (The Guardian).

The Mail takes a different angle and focuses on a damning rebuke given to Sharon White by representatives who sit on the employee-owned partnership’s council as they voted against her performance over the past year.

Dame Sharon White is fighting to contain a backlash at John Lewis after losing a vote by its staff council on her management of the business (The Telegraph).

The Telegraph also asks, can Dame Sharon White save John Lewis? “Inside a year of hell at Britain’s favourite department store.”

A Telegraph editorial calls the vote “a severe blow” for Dame Sharon White – and John Lewis. “Partnership faces uncertain future after staff rebuke leadership for past performance.”

Time is running out to implement the British government’s post-Brexit plans to require all meat and dairy products sold in Northern Ireland to be labelled “Not for EU” consumption, retail and trade lobby groups warned on Wednesday (The Financial Times £).

The Guardian runs a feature asking why oat milk is still so expensive. “Plant-based milk has seen a surge in popularity in the past decade. But the high prices are driving some back to dairy,” the paper writes.

Compass Group has announced a £750m share buyback on the back of strong trading, doubling the amount returned to shareholders since May last year (The Times £).

The Tempus shares column in The Times (£) gives Compass a ‘buy’ rating. “A better rate of new contract wins and the chance to improve the margin further could push the shares higher.”

Inflation will not return to the Bank of England’s 2% target until late 2025, according to a new forecast which warns that interest rates risk being “higher for longer” (The Times £).

The Bank of England is set to raise interest rates to 4.5% today, the highest since 2008 in the face of stubborn inflationary pressures and a stronger-than-expected economy (The Times £).

The boss of JD Wetherspoon has blamed a preoccupation with red tape and a “lack of understanding” of free enterprise by politicians for breeding rampant inflation (The Times £).