The John Lewis Partnership, which owns the division retailer chain and Waitrose supermarkets, has fallen to a half-year loss and mentioned a no-deal Brexit would have a “significant” impression.
The group reported a loss of £25.9m, blaming a drop in gross sales.
It mentioned “subdued consumer confidence” in the primary half of the yr had taken its toll on outcomes.
John Lewis pointed to “soft demand” for its residence and electrical items as a explicit weak spot.
The partnership, which usually makes most of its earnings in the second half of the yr, mentioned it was making preparations for a no-deal Brexit.
However, the partnership’s chairman, Charlie Mayfield, mentioned: “Should the UK go away the EU with out a deal, we anticipate the impact to be vital and it is not going to be attainable to mitigate that impression.
“Brexit continues to weigh on client sentiment at a essential time for the sector as we enter the height buying and selling interval.”
Salary will increase and an IT overhaul additionally ate into the group’s earnings, John Lewis mentioned.
Amid what it described as a “weak grocery market” gross sales at Waitrose slipped barely to £3.4bn.
However, the grocery store chain additionally reported a 10.7% progress in on-line gross sales, which the partnership mentioned was “effectively forward of the market”.
At the John Lewis division retailer enterprise, complete gross sales had been £2.1bn, down 1.8%.