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Marks and Spencer to cut 7,000 jobs in wake of 'material shift in trade'

The company said the cuts will come across shops, regional management and its support centre in the UK.

File photo. M&S branch in Bristol.
File photo. M&S branch in Bristol.
Image: Andrew Matthews/PA Images

AROUND 7,000 JOBS are being axed at retail giant Marks & Spencer as part of a further shake-up of its stores and management in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

The group said the roles were set to go over the next three months across shops, regional management and its support centre in the UK. A spokesperson for the company told TheJournal.ie that jobs in the Republic of Ireland are not impacted by this announcement.

M&S expects a “significant” number of roles will be cut through voluntary departures and early retirement while it said it will also create some jobs through investing further in online warehousing and its new ambient food warehouse.

It comes as M&S revealed total sales in its hard-hit clothing and home arm plunged 29.9% in the eight weeks since shops reopened, with store sales tumbling 47.9% and online surging 39.2%.

It said sales declines were improving but that it was “clear that there has been a material shift in trade”.

“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,” it said.

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Chief executive Steve Rowe added: “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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