Friday 11 March 2022

JLP 'never knowingly underinflated' Raises Inflation Concerns

After hailing the success of its recovery programme yesterday, the head of the John Lewis Partnership added to warnings from across the retail and manufacturing sectors that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will lead to a further jump in inflation.

Chairman Sharon White said that the conflict meant inflation would be “more persistent” and at a higher rate than previously expected.

She highlighted that the group was facing “significant persistent pressures” on costs, adding: “As far as we can, we’re trying to absorb the cost pressures … not all of these pressures are absorbable.”

Both the group’s Waitrose and John Lewis chains have been forced to increase prices on certain items in recent weeks, with prices at the supermarket chain rising by between 3% to 4% compared with 2% last year.

White said: “We’re expecting inflation to be more permanent, more persistent, and certainly at a higher level than when we were all gathered for half-year results [in September].

NamNews Implications:
  • '…invasion of Ukraine will lead to a FURTHER jump in inflation’
  • The key word is ‘further’ …
  • …in that most of the current inflation predictions (everywhere) are based on pre-Ukraine trends.
  • i.e. ‘prices at the supermarket chain rising by between 3% to 4%’ are ‘historical, pre-Ukraine.
  • We are now in uncharted territory, again (following Covid Lockdowns…)
  • Given the risk that JLP will be 'never-knowingly-underinflated' suppliers need to take the initiative.
  • Waitrose suppliers need more precision re inflation…
  • …and should explore ‘what-ifs ‘ starting at 10%…
  • …before opening discussions with the customer.
  • In other words, the supplier has to take the lead this time…
#UkraineInflation #NormalInflation #NAM-Initiative

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