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Retail

River Island tells UK staff 350 jobs to be cut in management shake-up

The move comes just a month after it had already said it would cut 250 head office staff as part of cost-cutting measures.

RIVER ISLAND HAS told staff in the UK that it is to cut 350 jobs as part of a major store management shake-up.

The high street fashion retailer told staff it intends to slash store management and senior sales roles as part of a restructure of its retail team.

The move comes just a month after it had already said it would cut 250 head office staff as part of cost-cutting measures.

River Island has seen revenues and profitability hit by a slump in store footfall after reopening sites following the coronavirus lockdown.

Chief executive Will Kernan told staff in an internal memo that the changes will create a “flatter management structure with a greater emphasis on customer service”.

He said: “We need to make sure we have the right structures in place to deliver our omnichannel strategy, and to continue to deliver the amazing River Island in-store experience that our customers know and love.

“With a heavy heart, I can confirm that these changes will potentially impact up to 350 store management and senior sales roles.

“Whilst this is an incredibly difficult decision, these actions are crucial to ensure that our stores continue to effectively play their hugely important role in our omnichannel future.”

River Island has around 300 stores across the UK and has reportedly eyed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) or other form of insolvency to reduce its rent costs in a bid to save money.

The fashion retailer has 27 stores across the Republic of Ireland. TheJournal.ie has requested comment from the company about the potential impact of this announcement on staff in Ireland. 

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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