John Lewis Partnership has reported meagre half year results as its cites “deep structural changes in the retail market”.
The department store colossal, which also owns Waitrose, posted a 14.7 per cent drop in half-year pre-tax profits dropping to £81.9 million.
It attributes this loss to having to keep up with competitive pricing, increasing pay and internal investment in the last six months.
However, the company was adamant the EU referendum had no effect.
"We have grown gross sales and market share across both Waitrose and John Lewis, but our profits are down," chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said.
"This reflects market conditions and, in particular, steps we are taking to adapt the partnership for the future.
"These are not as a consequence of the EU referendum result, which has had little quantifiable impact on sales so far.
"Instead there are far-reaching changes taking place in society, in retail and in the workplace, that have much greater implications."