Marks & Spencer is cutting 7,000 jobs over the next three months across its stores and management, a spokesman has said.
IT said the coronavirus pandemic had made it clear there had a been a “material shift in trade.” The company said that in-store sales of clothing and home goods were “well below” 2019, although online and home deliveries were increasing and showed strong growth.
The losses will largely be customer assistants. Out of a total 80,000-strong workforce, there are currently 60,000 shop floor workers. Other roles will also be lost in M&S’ central support centre and in regional management.
“We expect a significant proportion will be through voluntary departures and early retirement. In line with our longstanding value of treating our people well, we will now begin an extensive programme of communication with colleagues,” M&S said.
It also expects to create a number of new jobs as M&S invests in its online capacity New Microsoft technology will also allow it to reduce layers of management, M&S 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,” chief executive Steve Rowe said.
“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.”
M&S is the latest high street retailer to announce job cuts, many more are expected as the pandemic continues to ruin global economies- all hopes remain fixed on a vaccine.