Marks & Spencer set to cut 950 jobs

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PA

Marks and Spencer is set to cut hundreds of jobs as part of a restructuring of its store operations.

The retailer said 950 jobs will go as part of plans to reduce store management and head office roles.

A spokesperson said that the move marks “an important step” in it becoming a “stronger, leaner” business.

M&S was already undergoing a transformation plan led by chief executive Steve Rowe which included cutting costs and closing some stores.

The firm said that due to the pandemic, those measures would be sped up under a programme called “Never The Same Again”. M&S said it now wanted to to “make three years’ progress in one”.

It follows confirmation that Ted Baker looks set to cut about a quarter of its UK workforce after the coronavirus pandemic added to its financial difficulties.

The fashion retailer did not confirm the number, but there are reports 500 store and the head office jobs will go.

“We have not taken this decision lightly and would like to thank all our colleagues for their hard work,” a spokesperson said.

The move is intended to saved about £6m by the end of the year.

Both part-time and full-time roles will be affected. About 200 jobs will go at the Ugly Brown Building, its London headquarters, with the rest from its 46 shops across the UK and Europe, as well as many store concessions.

Transformation plan

Ted Baker had been struggling before the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK. The firm reported a pre-tax loss of £79.9m in the year to 25 January, in comparison with a £30.7m profit the previous year.

The High Street brand confirmed that the latest job cuts came as part of a “continuing transformation plan”.

“We have been assessing the appropriate level of staffing across our business and are in consultation with affected colleagues,” they said.

It had already announced 160 job cuts in February, which mostly affected office workers.

A turnaround plan for the business was launched in June by new chief executive Rachel Osborne. It includes broadening the retailer’s offer to make its clothing “more relevant” to everyday occasions and to sell more accessories and shoes.

High Street woes

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic Ted Baker said it was considering other cost savings.

Other High Street retailers have announced cost-cutting measures as the coronavirus crisis has hit trade, including two of the UK’s biggest retailers. Boots said that 4,000 jobs will go, while John Lewis is shutting down eight stores, putting 1,300 jobs at risk.

Other lay-offs announced during the pandemic have included: