Marks & Spencer to cut 7,000 jobs from UK business

Retail company says new investment in online capacity will create new roles

Marks & Spencer plans to cut 7,000 jobs, including from regional management and stores in the UK. Photograph: iStock

Marks & Spencer plans to cut 7,000 jobs, including from regional management and stores in the UK. Photograph: iStock

 

Marks & Spencer said that its plans to cut 7,000 jobs comes after seeing a “material shift” in trade.

It plans to reduce the number of roles at the retail chain’s central support centre, in its regional management and UK stores over the next three months.

Its operations in the Republic of Ireland, where it employs around 2,000 people at 17 stores, are unaffected by the announcement.

During lockdown, the company said it has learnt to work more flexibly, using the same staff to man both the food aisles and the clothing section of the stores. New Microsoft technology will also allow it to reduce layers of management, M&S said.

“We expect a significant proportion will be through voluntary departures and early retirement. In line with our longstanding value of treating our people well, we will now begin an extensive programme of communication with colleagues,” M&S said.

It also expects to create a number of new jobs as M&S invests in its online capacity.

“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,” chief executive Steve Rowe said.

“Three months on and our Never the Same Again programme is progressing; albeit the outlook is uncertain and we remain cautious.

“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.

“These proposals are an important step in becoming a leaner, faster business set up to serve changing customer needs and we are committed to supporting colleagues through this time.” – PA