950 jobs at risk – Marks & Spencer

  • Marks & Spencer said the job losses would come from central support functions in its property and field operations as well as its store management network.
  • The cuts represent about 1.2% of its workforce of 78,000

British clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer said on Monday it planned to cut 950 jobs as part of a restructuring, dealing a further blow to a sector that has already seen thousands of redundancies during the COVID-19 crisis.

M&S said it had started a consultation with its employee representative group and had set out its intention to first offer voluntary redundancy to affected workers across central support functions, central operations and property and store management.

The move could be controversial, given that M&S took government support when furloughing 27,000 workers during the pandemic. The stock slumped as much as 2.6% in London trading.

In an effort to avoid significant job losses, the UK government has since offered businesses a 1,000 pound ($1,250) bonus for every employee who returns to work, but the measure failed to stem the tide of job cuts. M&S said it hasn’t decided whether to accept the bonus for employees who have returned to work.

Britain’s retailers, already struggling with high rents, business taxes, tight margins and online competition, were particularly hammered by the coronavirus lockdown.

The cuts form part of M&S’s plan to move to a “leaner, faster retail management structure,” it said.

M&S has struggled in a highly competitive grocery market and after failing to keep up with online “fast fashion” rivals. In May, the company said it was outperforming its worst-case coronavirus scenario after reacting quickly to the pandemic, canceling about 100 million pounds ($122 million) of clothing and home orders.


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