Marks and Spencer has announced it will cut 950 jobs in an effort to reduce its store management and head office roles.
The high street retailer said the proposals will help move the company to “a leaner, faster retail management structure” as it accelerates its transformation plan after being disrupted by the coronavirus lockdown.
M&S said it has started collective consultation with employee representatives and has set out plans to first offer voluntary redundancy to affected staff.
Sacha Berendji, director of retail, operations and property at M&S, said: “Our proposals reflect an important next step in our Never The Same Again programme to accelerate our transformation and become a stronger, leaner and more resilient business.
“Through the crisis we have seen how we can work faster and more flexibly by empowering store teams and it’s essential that we embed that way of working. Our priority now is to support all those affected through the consultation process and beyond,” she added.
In response to the announcement of potential job losses at Marks & Spencer, Downing Street said the Government was working hard on measures to get the economy back on its feet.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We know that this will be worrying news for M&S employees and their families and we stand ready to support them.”
“Affected employees will be able to access a wide range of support including Universal Credit and the Jobseekers’ Allowance. Our top priority throughout this pandemic has been to support people, protect jobs and help businesses through unprecedented measures of support.
“We are working hard on investing on services and programmes that can get the economy back on its feet and get people back into work,” the spokesman for the PM added.
In May, chief executive Steve Rowe said the company would be accelerating parts of its transformation plan with a programme dubbed Never The Same Again.
M&S told investors that “central support costs and headcount will be examined at all levels” as part of the plan.
The retailer’s food stores continued to trade throughout the strictest lockdown period, but trading in other part of its business, such as clothing, was significantly reduced.
M&S said the cuts are set to impact roles in the company’s head office, property and store management areas.
It comes after a torrid time for the high street in the face of coronavirus, with the likes of John Lewis, Boots and Debenhams announcing thousands of job cuts.