The John Lewis Partnership has begun the search for a successor to chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield, who will step down in 2020.

The retail giant plans to announced the new chairman in the second half of next year.

Sir Charlie is the fifth chairman of JLP, and has held the role since 2007. He said: “Although my departure is still a considerable way off, the appointment of my successor is a key responsibility.

"It is for this reason I have decided to lay out the timetable now to enable an open and thorough process to select the next chairman of the partnership.”

John Lewis has not been immune from the general gloom that has pervaded the British high street in 2018. Earlier this year, the group revealed that profits had been all but wiped out, and announced a number of store closures.

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At the time, Sir Charlie said: “These are challenging times in retail. We’re continuing to improve our offer for customers while ensuring we have the financial strength to continue developing our business going forward.”

The company has been struggling as rival retailers have applied heavy discounts in a bid to withstand the downward trend in consumer spending. This puts John Lewis under pressure because of its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ policy, which meant the company has seen an unprecedented level of price-matching this year.

 

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