John Lewis turns down lights and heating to avoid ‘£18 million overspend’

The John Lewis Partnership has said it will turn down the heating and dim lights in an attempt to save on energy bills.

According to an internal email to staff seen by the Guardian, the group faces an overspend of £18 million on energy costs compared to original predictions.

The retailer recently announced a pre-tax loss of £99 million for the first six months of the year.

Food retailer Waitrose will operate at half lighting for the first two hours of trading from Monday to Friday.

Temperatures in offices, branches and warehouses will be dropped by two per cent, according to the report.

John Lewis bosses warned that next year’s forecast is equally challenging, adding that it is targeting savings of £9 million over the next 12 months through changes to environmental settings in stores and offices, the newspaper said.

John Lewis is conducting lighting surveys to find other ways to reduce costs and exploring other options including putting blinds on fridges to trap cold air and turning off unnecessary equipment.

John Lewis recently announced it is partnering with global investment business abrdn to create 1,000 new homes for rental. The £500 million multi-decade venture is part of the retailer’s plan to “diversify the business” and use its “significant property assets".

John Lewis will develop and manage the new sites, which it hopes will give it a stable stream of income, and has committed to affordable housing and sustainability based on its existing 2035 net-zero plans.

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