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John Lewis to axe hundreds of jobs

Jobs in the high street store's restaurant and home fittings service will be affected. Credit: PA

John Lewis is axing nearly 400 jobs as it grapples with the pressures facing the retail sector.

The department chain said 387 jobs would be lost as it shifts home fittings administration roles to a central hub in Manchester and outsources food preparation for its 'The Place to Eat' restaurants.

Around 773 staff have now entered redundancy consultation and been given the opportunity to apply for 386 new roles.

The changes will impact 32 of its 48 stores across the country, with the consultation on jobs expecting to last a few months.

It comes after the high street store said last month it expects its renowned staff bonus to be ''significantly lower'' than last year in the face of a challenging market outlook.

It follows a warning last year by former John Lewis managing director Andy Street that sterling's plunge could become a problem for the firm.

He said that although the firm is "fully hedged" against currency fluctuations in the short term, but it could be an issue in 2017.

Dino Rocos, John Lewis operations director, said: "Our Partners are passionate about offering the very best customer service and these proposals will allow us to modernise our business as it adapts to the changing needs of our customers and the role that shops play in their lives," he said.

"We understand that for some this will mean a period of change, and we are working with affected partners over the consultation period to give opportunities for redeployment in new roles wherever possible."