John Lewis partners to wed after bonus tops 18 per cent

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CHEERS! Engaged couple Sue Clarke and Matthew Lumb are raising a glass to wedded bliss - after each receiving 18 per cent bonuses at work.

Bride-to-be Sue and her fiance Matthew are not City bankers or flashy traders juggling equities on the stock market.

Soon to be married Matthew Lumb and Sue Clarke pictured outside John Lewis, Sheffield.

Soon to be married Matthew Lumb and Sue Clarke pictured outside John Lewis, Sheffield.

Instead the couple both work for John Lewis department store in Barker’s Pool, Sheffield - where employees are treated as ‘partners’ and share in the firm’s profits.

And this year every worker within the John Lewis partnership has been awarded an inflation-busting bonus of 18 per cent - which for Sue and Matthew is perfect timing as they plan their wedding this June.

Stock manager Matthew, aged 38, who has been working at John Lewis for 15 years, told The Star: “Eighteen per cent is much more than we were expecting, we’re so pleased!

“I don’t know of any other company that does this for their staff. This bonus is going to do big things for us.”

Sue - a sales assistant on children’s shoes - and Matthew first met four years ago.

They tie the knot in three months’ time and already their bonus payments have been earmarked to pay for both their Sheffield wedding and their honeymoon to the Canary Islands.

Sue, 49, said: “Knowing that bonuses were coming really took the pressure off while we were planning the wedding. But one household with two bonuses like this is amazing.” She grinned: “Although the biggest bonus John Lewis ever gave me was Matthew himself!”

Co-worker Janet Holden, 51, a visual merchandiser, has worked in the Sheffield store for 10 years and is also planning her wedding. She now intends to splash her bonus on an incredible bridal dress.

“The wedding next year signifies a new chapter in my life,” Janet said. “After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, I am now in remission and I feel like the luckiest woman alive to be marrying my fiance Philip. I’m so grateful to John Lewis for helping make the wedding I’ve dreamed of as special as it can be.”

Call centre worker Dee Brownett, 49, said her bonus will pay for her family’s holiday, while Alison Storey, 51, an assistant on in-store magazine The Chronicle, said the annual windfall has contributed previously in just about every way possible.

Past bonuses have helped to cover the costs of new cars, house renovations and holidays over the years.

“As soon as Christmas is over, a lot of hustle and bustle starts to build up on the shop floor as people try to guess the percentage our bonus might be - this year we’re all over-the-moon with 18 per cent!” said Alison.

Bonuses are awarded to every member of John Lewis staff up and down the country

John Lewis Sheffield branch managing director Lisa Williams said: “Over the years we’ve heard of bonuses helping people to get married, move house, put their kids through university - it’s a really special and unique system.

“Everyone from the chairman down will be enjoying their 18 per cent this year.”