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John Lewis says it will resume NI deliveries before summer

The retailer stopped sending orders here at the end of 2020

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The retail giant will provide rapid testing across 40 sites including some Waitrose and John Lewis stores (Mike Egerton/PA)

The retail giant will provide rapid testing across 40 sites including some Waitrose and John Lewis stores (Mike Egerton/PA)

The retail giant will provide rapid testing across 40 sites including some Waitrose and John Lewis stores (Mike Egerton/PA)

Retailer John Lewis has announced that it expects to resume deliveries to households in Northern Ireland "before the summer".

The popular UK department store said it had been forced to halt deliveries at the end of last year due to Brexit and the Irish Sea border.

Northern Ireland follows the EU's rules on trade to prevent a hard border on the island. That has caused problems for suppliers and retailers sending goods from Great Britain.

A grace period, which had been due to cease this spring and has now been extended to the autumn, had meant there should have been no change for most parcel deliveries from 1 January 1.

However, the grace period was announced just hours before the protocol took effect meaning some companies had already taken decisions about shipping to NI.

In some cases this meant temporary disruption or slower delivery while other firms ceased delivering.

In its annual report published on Thursday it said: "We have seen limited impact from Brexit so far operationally owing to our advance preparations and the Brexit trade deal.

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"The one area of the business that is temporarily disrupted is deliveries to NI."

It is understood the retailer, which stressed last month it was making efforts to accept orders from here again, is having to make substantial changes to its internal systems to keep serving Northern Ireland customers.

It comes as the retailer warns it is closing more stores after shutting eight of its own stores and seven Waitrose stores that were loss making, and we are in the process of reducing the cost of our head office by 20%.

"We entered this year with our financial performance already challenged - profits and Partner bonus having fallen for the past three years. We are having to take very difficult decisions to return the business to a path of sufficient profit of £400m by 2025/26," said the retailer.


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