Department store group, the John Lewis Partnership, owners of the Waitrose food chain, today explained the reasons behind a 23 per cent fall in profits despite sales increasing. The popular retailer, known for its "never knowingly undersold" slogan, revealed that accrued holdiay pay, decided by the Central Council last February, had hit the company along with refurbishment of a number of stores. It also revealed that its determination to be a `multi-channel retailer' with the long-term developments that this would involve, including e-commerce, would require it to carry losses in the short-term.