Clarks cuts 900 jobs in COVID survival strategy

Clarks will cut 900 office jobs as part of a new strategy to revitalise the business through the Coronavirus.

The footwear retailer has made 160 redundancies globally today, including 108 at its headquarters in Street, Somerset.

Over the next 18 months, the 'Made To Last' plan will see it make around 700 more employees redundant - with the 900 total being partially balanced by the creation of 200 new jobs.

Clarks also confirmed it was actively supporting staff to find alternative employment within or outside of the business.

Chief executive Giorgio Presca explained: “There are exciting opportunities ahead for our business, and we are having to make some difficult decisions to get there."

The new strategy will focus on sustainability, product innovation, design and quality, along with digital enhancements to help customers interact with the 195-year old brand, as well as giving new ways to select and pay for shoes.

When Clarks’ launched the strategy at the end of last year, it came with the redundancy of 170 employees globally.

Presca confirmed that the retailer was continuing to review its stores in line with changing consumer needs. Clarks has already temporarily closed most its stores around the world to protect staff and customers from the Coronavirus. Some in China and parts of Europe have reopened in line with local guidelines.

A statement also explained that its senior leadership team has been reviewing funding options with selected advisors to ensure the business can deliver its strategy and enable future growth.

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