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John Lewis feeling the pain

When you hear news that the bell weather of the UK high street, John Lewis, is suffering from falling sales and profits down 27% for the first half of 2008 then you know we are in trouble. While this will come as no surprise to those who watch the group (as they issue weekly sales updates) the fall in profits to £107.3 million is still a tough pill to swallow. So what is happening on the high street?

The group revealed that operating profits at the John Lewis Partnership operation fell by over 30% to just £21 million, profits at Waitrose by 8% to £102.7 million and pension scheme costs increased by a staggering 19%. All in all it has not been a good 2008 so far for the group and they do not expect any substantial improvement until 2010!

This is just the news that the UK economy did not want to hear, not to mention Gordon Brown and his ministers. As the EU suggested earlier this week, the UK seems to be one of the weakest of the EU members and will likely recover slower than any other member of the EU. Times are tough in the UK and they are about to get a whole lot tougher for many on the high street!

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