The managing director of John Lewis, Paula Nickolds, indicated on Thursday (30 March) that further job losses were on the horizon for the retail giant. However, she declined to specify the number of redundancies scheduled.
This development arrives on the heels of a previous cost cutting drive, where nearly 800 jobs were announced to be axed in February.
John Lewis is currently facing a period of uncertainty in the wake of Article 50 being triggered following the UK's vote to exit the EU. The consistent depreciation of the pound since the outcome of the EU referendum has caused a sharp rise in input prices.
The impact of increased costs on the firm's price levels also remains uncertain. "It's a pretty volatile environment", Nickolds was quoted as saying by the BBC.
Fierce competition in the retail sector and the rising prominence of online stores have also contributed to John Lewis' anxieties in maintaining profitability.
Customers share similar sentiments over the ambiguity surrounding Brexit, Nickolds said.
"We do regular customer insight and we are seeing slightly more uncertainty in the way people are thinking about their personal finances."
Her insight is consistent with a recent PwC report that projects consumer spending to deteriorate from 2017. The clothing and food sectors are particularly vulnerable as their inputs are highly dependent on imports.
The managing director also discussed the firm's strategy on merging digital and physical store platforms in order to improve customer experience and accessibility. This is reflected in the firm's institution of UK's largest start-up accelerator, which focuses on researching disruptive technology within the retail sector.
Paula Nickolds was appointed as the firm's first female managing director in October 2016 after her predecessor Andy Street resigned in order to run as a mayoral candidate in the West Midlands.
John Lewis currently has 48 stores operational in the UK.