Print firm collapse causes shortage of John Lewis vouchers

Retail giant The John Lewis Partnership has been hit by a shortage of gift vouchers after the printing firm it used collapsed into administration, the group confirmed today.

Some stores are understood to have seen sales come under pressure after the group was forced to rely on reserves of vouchers when security print firm BemroseBooth called in administrators in June, according to a report in Retail Week magazine.

The blow came at a key time for voucher sales, during the summer wedding gift season.

One Waitrose employee reportedly wrote to the group’s in-house magazine The Chronicle complaining that their store had run out of vouchers: “Our branch can sell up to £1,500-plus in gift vouchers a week, but we have none.

“So not only are our sales affected, but so is our bonus, which is beyond our control.”

John Lewis said it had experienced “difficulties” with its supply of gift vouchers.

But it said the situation had been mitigated in its department stores through the use of vouchers held in stock.

A spokeswoman confirmed that none of the John Lewis department stores had completely run out of vouchers, but Waitrose has had to switch stock of vouchers between stores due to the supply crisis.

The group said: “This situation has been mitigated by the use of reserve stock kept on hand specifically for such purposes and as a result we have been able to continue to meet customer requirements.

“We are pleased to say that we have found another supplier and hope to have new vouchers available shortly.”

John Lewis separately released weekly trading figures today showing that sales rose 12.2% to £57.8 million across department stores in the week to August 28, while Waitrose saw a 6.8% increase.

The pace of growth within Waitrose has slowed in recent weeks, down from 7.8% the previous week and 11.1% in July, although supermarkets across the sector have been impacted by falling food price inflation in recent months.

John Lewis reports its half-year results on September 16.

BemroseBooth has recently been sold by administrators, although two sites in Derby were closed, ending its history in the city dating back more than 180 years.

Paragon Group bought the two remaining offices in Hull and Thornaby in Teesside in July and the business has now been renamed BemroseBooth Paragon.

More in this Section

Manager at Cork bank begins action aimed at preventing termination of her employmentManager at Cork bank begins action aimed at preventing termination of her employment

Cork JCD  building to become Ireland's greenest building Cork JCD building to become Ireland's greenest building

British Airways flights delayed by ‘technical issue’British Airways flights delayed by ‘technical issue’

Google bans ads targeting political affiliationGoogle bans ads targeting political affiliation


Move over quinoa.Everything you need to know about fonio, the ancient grain we’ll all be eating in 2020

The former heptathlete and all-round super woman chats to Lauren Taylor about how to stay fit in pregnancy and body confidence after a baby.Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill: ‘There’s still a lot of stigma attached to exercising pregnant’

Behaving aggressively is a stage many toddlers go through. The author of The Wonder Weeks explains how parents should deal with kids who kick & bite.Ask an expert: How can I stop my toddler kicking and biting?

It came as quite a surprise to learn that I had been writing my Weekend column in the Irish Examiner for 21 years — how the years have flown by and how the food scene has changed in Ireland over those two decades.A letter from Darina Allen: How the years have flown and the food has changed

More From The Irish Examiner