Retail group The John Lewis Partnership is looking to raise funds via a new retail bond scheme.
Bonds are available to Partnership Card holders, Account Card holders and current partners on a first come first served basis, and applications will be considered from today until April 11th 2011.
Interested parties can secure a bond with a lump sum of between £1,000 and £10,000, in multiples of £1,000, and do not need to go through a broker to make their investment.
It is a five-year savings product with a fixed annual return of 4.5 per cent in cash, while a further two per cent is paid out in John Lewis Partnership gift vouchers.
John Lewis announced that the issue will be closed when the total bond applications reach £50 million.
Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the partnership, which comprises John Lewis’s department stores and insurance arm as well as up-market grocer Waitrose, said: “For many years the partnership has raised finance via corporate bonds and bank lending.
“We want to explore alternative ways of raising funds as part of the partnership’s borrowing programme, and to reach out to the retail investor.
“With interest rates and yields close to historical lows we believe our cardholders and partners will welcome a competitively priced, innovative product of this nature with the added comfort of the John Lewis Partnership brand and reputation.”
The announcement comes in the week John Lewis is set to announce its annual results for 2010, which are expected to highlight another successful 12 months for the group considering the numerous sales records broken last year.
2011 has started much more slowly, however, with trade at the partnership’s department stores impacted by cautious consumer sentiment.
Waitrose has remained popular with grocery shoppers across the UK, however, and has recently increased its share of a highly competitive market.