Employees will get a 5% bonus, down from 6% last year and the lowest since the 4% paid out in 1954.
Annual group profit, before the partnership bonus, tax and exceptional items, fell 21.9% to £289.2m.
John Lewis Partnership chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield said 2017 had been a "challenging year", as expected, with "subdued" consumer demand.
He said weakness in sterling had led to higher costs, putting pressure on the business's profit margin.
The partnership said it had been hit by exceptional costs of £282.5m, including £111.3m to cover the restructuring of branch, distribution and retail operations.