Culture

Marks and Spencer to Lay off 7,000 Jobs

Following massive sales declines amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

1,105 Hypes

Marks and Spencer to Lay off 7,000 Jobs

Following massive sales declines amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following months of hardship and a visible decline in sales, London-based multinational retailer Marks and Spencer is set to cut close to 7,000 jobs over the next few months across stores and management.

The retailer has noted that annual sales were “well below” what it saw in 2019, and that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic caused massive declines in sales of clothing and home goods. In a statement, the company said that it is “too early to predict with precision where a new post-COVID sales mix will settle. We must now act to reflect this change,” adding that the restructuring needed to be accelerated. With over 950 management and head office jobs at risk, as well as thousands across retail and other areas of the business, M&S stated that it hopes that a “significant proportion” of the cuts will be voluntary redundancy and early retirement.

“The reality is that many more retailers will fail and the number of job losses will ramp up as government support is withdrawn. This is the calm before the storm,” said retail economics chief executive Richard Lim about the inevitable cuts.

Marks and Spencer employ around 78,000 people with the bulk of its workforce located in the UK, and the biggest portion of upcoming cuts will affect those working in retail. Other UK-based chains like Boots, WH Smith and John Lewis are also seeing workforce reductions.

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