Pure Beauty

M&S slashes 7,000 jobs from workforce

By Becky Bargh | Published: 18-Aug-2020

The supermarket chain said the redundancies will be rolled out over the next three months

Supermarket chain Marks & Spencer (M&S) is poised to slash its workforce in an effort to streamline its business.

Over the next three months the British retailer will cut around 7,000 roles across its central support centre, management team and UK-based stores.

According to the company, clothing and home sales nosedived this year, compared with sales in 2019, despite strong results online and via home delivery.

“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,” the retailer said in a statement.

“We expect a significant proportion will be through voluntary departures and early retirement.”

Despite the redundancies, M&S said it expects to create a number of new job roles as it invests online.

Meanwhile, the cost savings from these redundancies will be reflected in its half year results.

Retail’s woes

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are wrestling with reduced footfall and, consequently, a downturn in consumer spending.

While Debenhams teeters around the possibility of liquidation, others are triggering cost-cutting initiatives in order to survive the recession.

Boots, John Lewis, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges have all announced redundancies across their business in the last month.

Speaking to Cosmetics Business Millie Kendall, CEO of the beauty industry’s governing body, British Beauty Council, said beauty retail and services need to “focus on rebuilding consumer confidence in our sector” in order to survive the economic slump.

“We have often sailed through previous recessions,” she added.

“We need to stabilise and reinvigorate our industry and although I do see an immediate shrink in our overall value, it is clear we are rapidly shifting into the future and need to build on what beauty will look like in 2030.”

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