Marks & Spencer will announce hundreds of job cuts within days in first wave of cull that will hit thousands of workers
- Hundreds of job losses are expected as part of an ongoing restructuring plan
- Move is expected later this week after John Lewis and Boots also shed staff
- Thousands more have gone at Cath Kidston, Laura Ashley and Accessorize
Marks & Spencer is set to axe hundreds of staff within days in the first wave of a cull that will hit thousands of workers.
The announcement expected later this week comes after John Lewis and Boots have already shed thousands of staff in the wake of the pandemic.
Hundreds of job losses are expected as part of an ongoing restructuring plan which could ultimately see thousands of positions go.
Hundreds of job losses are expected at M&S as part of an ongoing restructuring plan which could ultimately see thousands of positions go. Pictured is a store in Manchester
The strategy, dubbed ‘never the same again’ by M&S at its annual results in May, is expected to bring about a complete overhaul in the business in the coming months as it adapts to the long-term impact of the pandemic.
Sources close to the plans told Sky News that several thousand jobs were expected to be lost over the coming months as chief executive Steve Rowe pushes through the company’s restructuring programme.
The initial phase will see the first cuts to M&S’s 78,000-strong workforce since most of its shops were temporarily shut at the start of lockdown.
Later job losses are then likely to come after a review of costs by bosses in different parts of the company such as retail and property, clothing and home, and food and international. The total numbers axed are likely to amount to several thousand, it was reported.
Earlier this month, Boots axed 4,000 jobs and closed 48 stores, citing the ‘significant impact’ of Covid-19. Meanwhile John Lewis shut eight large stores, putting 1,300 employees at risk.
Burger King also announced it would shutter one in ten outlets, jeopardising 1,600 positions.
And around 5,000 employees have gone at Cath Kidston, Laura Ashley, Harveys furniture store, Monsoon, Accessorize and Harrods.
Around 27,000 M&S employees were furloughed under the Government’s job retention scheme, which was designed to prevent mass lay-offs.
In 2018, M&S announced plans to close up to 120 of its full-line clothing stores, more than half of which have now been shut. It now has just under 300 clothing and home shops in the UK.
M&S has indicated that it will not pay shareholders a dividend for this year, while Mr Rowe has agreed to a pay freeze and, as in the last financial year, will not take an annual bonus.
An M&S spokesperson said: ‘We don’t comment on speculation and, if and when we have an announcement to make, our colleagues will be the first to know.’