STAFF at John Lewis in Oxford and at Waitrose stores across Oxfordshire are facing the prospect of missing out on a bonus due to tough trading conditions.

About 330 staff are employed at John Lewis, the Westgate Centre’s anchor store, which opened in October 2017.

The John Lewis Partnership has warned that its annual staff bonus is under threat for the first time in living memory as it battles challenging trading conditions.

Around 83,000 staff are usually awarded the payout in March, but the retailer said on Thursday that it expects profits to be “substantially lower” this year amid slower sales growth, meaning the bonus could be axed.

Chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said: “The board will need to consider carefully in March, following the usual process, whether payment of a bonus is prudent in the light of business and economic prospects at that time.”

It would be the first time since 1953 that staff have not received an annual bonus."

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Sir Charlie added: “We are in a very unusual economic and political circumstances. It all comes down to a judgement on what is best for the partnership.

“No one is getting rid of the bonus, bonuses go up and down. It’s affordable but the board needs to decide if it’s prudent.”

Department store total sales were up 2.5 per cent and Waitrose sales grew 0.2 per cent.