The Guardian reports that the John Lewis retail group in the UK, which is 100 percent employee-owned, "is in the early stages of exploring a plan" that would change the ownership structure of the company as it tries to raise the equivalent of more than $2 billion (US).
The money, Bloomberg reports, "would go toward better technology and data analysis, as well as the Waitrose supply chain."
The Guardian story says that "the company, which runs John Lewis department stores and supermarket Waitrose, said on Friday it would have to cut staff numbers and scrap bonuses this year, flagging an uncertain outlook as customers struggle with inflation."
According to Bloomberg, "For more than seven decades, John Lewis has been owned by its employees or partners, now amounting to about 80,000 people. Selling a minority stake would require a change to the business’s constitution, which would be voted on by the company’s partnership council, a group of about 60 staff."
Bloomberg also notes that Waitrose is a "major problem" for the company: "Sales fell 3% last year as the supermarket chain was slow to cap rising prices and shoppers have decamped to cheaper rivals, including discounters Aldi and Lidl. It has also been beset with availability issues after a problematic roll out of a new tech system and a fire at a depot led to gaps on shelves."