The Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership has announced that he will leave the group in 2020, and the search for his successor has already begun.
A replacement for Sir Charlie Mayfield, who has served as chairman since 2007, is expected to be announced in the second half of next year.
The announcement caused quite a stir for some analysts, as the group, which includes John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose-Stores, had already seen a fall of 99 percent in half-year earnings months ago.
Kick Back: Sir Charlie Mayfield resigns from the John Lewis partnership in 2020
Applications for the top position are open to both external and internal candidates.
The selection procedure for a new chairman is overseen by the nomination committee of the company, which consists of two elected directors, two independent non-executive directors and the chairman.
Sir Charlie said, "Although my farewell is still a long way off, the appointment of my successor is a key responsibility.
"That's why I decided to set the timetable now to allow an open and thorough process to select the next chairperson of the partnership."
Sir Charlie has been at the forefront of the partnership for many years of growth, but lately the group has struggled to cope with rising costs, higher business rates and a weaker pound.
The group is also facing tough competitors from online competitors, notably Amazon.
In addition, John Lewis & Partners is tied to the promise of "Never Knowingly Undersold" – the commitment to approach the competition also at sale events and promotions.
Annoying: In September, the John Lewis Partnership recorded a 99% drop in half-year net income
John Lewis posted a sizeable 99 percent drop in mid-year gains in September: "Given the uncertainty faced by consumers and the economy, partly due to the ongoing Brexit negotiations, the forecast is particularly challenging for the year the entire partnership significantly lower than last year. & # 39;
The results in September showed that the John Lewis partnership was not immune to the problems faced by other high profile department store chains House of Fraser and Debenhams.
In August, Mike Ashley of Sports Direct caught up with the troubled House of Fraser for £ 90m after it fell into the hands of administrators.
In June, Debenhams issued its third profit warning of the year, saying its annual pre-tax profits would range between £ 35 million and £ 40 million, below the previous estimate of £ 50.3 million.
Retailers across the country are getting ready for the crucial days of Black Friday and Christmas.
Crucial Times: Retailers in the country are getting ready for the crucial times of Black Friday and Christmas