Marks & Spencer to cut 7,000 jobs in next three months
Marks & Spencer has announced plans to cut around 7,000 jobs as it looks to streamline the business both at a store and management level.
The retailer is proposing to make cuts over the next three months in its central support centre, regional management teams and UK stores, although it expects a significant number of the job losses will come through voluntary redundancies and early retirement.
In a statement, the company said: “As previously outlined clothing & home trading in the stores remains well below last year, with online and home delivery strong. It is clear that there has been a material shift in trade and whilst it is too early to predict with precision where a new post Covid sales mix will settle, we must act now to reflect this change.
“We have also learnt that we can work more flexibly and productively with more colleagues multi-tasking and transitioning between food and clothing & home. The deployment of our leading store technology package developed in partnership with Microsoft has also enabled us to reduce layers of management and overheads in the support office.”
M&S also said it plans to create new jobs in online fulfilment and ambient food warehouse.
In a trading update, the company said food sales have increased by 2.5% in the last 13 weeks. In the same period, like-for-like sales, excluding the impact of the closure of hospitality and travel franchise units, climbed by 10.6%.
However, total revenue in its clothing and home business fell by 38.5% although trade has improved over the last eight weeks to a decline of 29.9%. In the eight week period, store sales dropped by 47.9% while online sales put in a strong performance with an uplift 39.2% on last year.
M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said: “In May we outlined our plans to learn from the crisis, accelerate our transformation and deliver a stronger, more agile business in a world in which some customer habits were changed forever. Three months on and our Never the Same Again programme is progressing; albeit the outlook is uncertain and we remain cautious.
“As part of our Never The Same Again programme to embed the positive changes in ways of working through the crisis, we are today announcing proposals to further streamline store operations and management structures. These proposals are an important step in becoming a leaner, faster business set up to serve changing customer needs and we are committed to supporting colleagues through this time.”
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