Supply chain crisis: John Lewis charters ships to fill shelves before Christmas


John Lewis has chartered vessels to ensure they have stocks on hand for Christmas as supply chain shortages continue.

Several retailers and restaurants across the country are grappling with supply chain issues due to Brexit, the shortage of heavy truck drivers and the effect of the pandemic.

John Lewis President Sharon White said the company is positioning itself to ensure that the stockouts encountered this summer do not disrupt Christmas.

The partnership has lined up additional ships through a freight company it works with to increase import options, she said.

Earlier this week, the retailer announced plans to hire more than 7,000 temporary workers across the country – 2,000 more than last year – to ensure inventory availability during the holiday season.

The chain recorded a pre-tax loss of £ 29million for the six months ending July 31, with a loss of £ 635million in the same period last year when the first nationwide lockdown took place.

John Lewis has also raised the wages of heavy-duty delivery drivers to address labor shortages, an adjustment, said Ms White, which is already showing results.

“We are working very quickly to make sure Christmas is going well,” added Ms. White. “We want to act now before anything becomes a major problem. We have worked in advance with shipments, such as Christmas trees and other goods, from Asia to avoid disruption. “

However, John Lewis’s famous Christmas TV commercial is reportedly delayed for two weeks.

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