Marks and Spencer, Hanley, Stoke on Trent
Image Source: Hazel Nicholson
7,000 jobs will be lost across the country before the end of the year.
Chloe Shakesby

M&S to cut 7,000 jobs in the next 3 months as customer habits are "changed forever"

A national supermarket brand has today announced that it will be cutting approximately 7,000 roles in the next three months.

Marks & Spencer is implementing a streamlining plan, which it says is due to a “material shift” in trade due to the pandemic.

The affected jobs will include the company’s support centre, regional management and in stores, with a “significant proportion” expected to be voluntary redundancies and early retirement.

The plan would see all 7,000 roles gone before the end of the year.

However, it said that it hopes to create “a number” of new jobs as it invests in online trading and its new food warehouse.

The company said: “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.

“We have also learnt that we can work more flexibly and productively with more colleagues multi-tasking and transitioning between Food and Clothing & Home.

“The deployment of our leading store technology package developed in partnership with Microsoft has also enabled us to reduce layers of management and overheads in the support office.

“As a result we are today embarking on a multi-level consultation programme which we anticipate will result in a reduction of c. 7,000 roles over the next 3 months.

“These will include departures in our central support centre, in regional management, and in our UK stores, reflecting the fact that the change has been felt throughout the business.”

Steve Rowe, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, commented: “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.

“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.”

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