M&S to cut 7,000 jobs

Marks & Spencer is to cut around 7,000 jobs over the next three months
due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business.

The high street retailer said on Tuesday that in-store sales of clothing
and home goods were “well below” 2019 and there is still “substantial
uncertainty about market conditions and the duration of social
distancing measures”.

Positions will be lost in its UK stores and management, as well as in
its central support centre. However, a “significant proportion” of the
reductions are expected come from voluntary redundancy and early retirement.

M&S added that it will also be creating a number of new jobs to support
online fulfilment and its new ambient food warehouse in Milton Keynes.

In a trading update, M&S reported a 38.5% drop in revenue for the last
13 weeks. Sales have improved in the eight weeks since stores reopened,
but remained 29.9% lower than in the corresponding period last year.
Store sales were down 47.9% while online sales were up 39.2% on last year.

“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 company concluded.