Wickes owner Travis Perkins to cut 2,500 jobs
Wickes and Toolstation owner Travis Perkins is planning to cut around 2,500 jobs, or 9% of its workforce, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the company said it has started a consultation process regarding the closure of around 165 branches across its branch estate.
The job losses will mainly come from within smaller branches of the group’s Travis Perkins general merchanting business where it is difficult to implement social distancing, or where marginal profitability will be eroded in a reduced volume environment.
In addition, the group is consulting on some above-branch roles in the distribution, administrative and sales functions.
Nick Roberts, Travis Perkins chief executive, said the Covid-19 pandemic had created significant challenges for the group.
He added: “Whilst we have experienced improving trends more recently, we do not expect a return to pre-Covid trading conditions for some time and consequently we have had to take the very difficult decision to begin consultations on the closure of selected branches and to reduce our workforce to ensure we can protect the group as a whole.”
Giving an update on current trading, Travis Perkins said group volumes in May were around 60% of the prior year although sales improved throughout the month. However, the group’s weekly volume run rate has now recovered to around 85% to 90% of the previous year with the best performances coming from its Wickes’ core DIY ranges and its Toolstation business.
Across the merchanting and plumbing and heating businesses, volumes are now around 80% of the prior year.
Roberts added: “The group has a robust balance sheet, strong liquidity position and I am confident that these proposed changes will enable us to trade successfully through this period of uncertainty with a cost base that better reflects the environment we are operating in.”
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