National high street chain Marks & Spencer has today announced plans to cut up to 7,000 jobs over the next three months across its stores and management due to the impact of COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the retail sector and UK high street, and M&S are the latest victims of the country’s struggles.
M&S said that the job cuts, about 12% of its total workforce, will be voluntary redundancy and early retirement.
M&S CEO Steve Rowe said: “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.”
M&S said total sales in its clothing and home categories fell 29.9% in the eight weeks since shops reopened, with the total in-store sales plummeting 47.9%. Total online sales during the same period rose 39.2%.
Today’s news follows last month’s announcement that M&S planned to cut 950 store management and head office jobs as part of its post-COVID-19 restructuring.