M&S confirms 7,000 job cuts

Marks and Spencer has confirmed the loss of 7,000 jobs over the next three months as part of restructuring plans due to the Coronavirus.

Roles are expected to be cut across stores, regional management and the support centre after the retailer experienced a “material shift” in trade during the last few months.

The latest round of redundancies come in addition to the 950 job cuts announced last month across its property and management teams.

“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,” said chief executive Steve Rowe.

“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."

In-store clothing and homeware trading remained well below last year, although online and home delivery channels fared a lot better.

"It is clear that there has been a material shift in trade and whilst it is too early to predict with precision where a new post COVID sales mix will settle, we must act now to reflect this change," read a statement.

It continued that the deployment of a new store technology package, developed in partnership with Microsoft, has enabled M&S to reduce layers of management and overheads in the support office.

The retailer added that a significant proportion of the job cuts will be through voluntary departures and early retirement, adding: "In line with our longstanding value of treating our people well, we will now begin an extensive programme of communication with colleagues."

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