Jul 20, 2020
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M&S confirms almost 1,000 jobs losses as it restructures

Jul 20, 2020

M&S has confirmed rumours that it's planning to cut jobs with the news that 950 roles will go as part of its "leaner, faster retail management structure” dubbed the Never The Same Again programme.

M&S has confirmed the number of jobs it's to cut. Photo - Sandra Halliday

It had announced in May that it had a plan to transform its fortunes with more digital operations and the creation of more flexible management structures and it's now proposing to implement the changes and create “a new retail management structure that is fit for the future”. This means “removing role duplication, providing clearer leadership accountabilities and freeing up its retail teams to focus more on the customer”.

As mentioned, 950 roles are affected. They’re in central support functions in field and central operations, and property and store management. The company has already started collective consultation with its employee representative group and is targeting voluntary redundancies as a first step.

Its Director of Retail, Operations and Property Sacha Berendji said: “Our proposals reflect an important next step 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.”

So what does it mean in practice? The proposed changes would “reduce management layers, and through better use of technology and insight would empower store management roles to be more focused on the customer and enable more time on the shop floor. Under the new structure, each store manager would have full accountability in driving standout customer service, ownership of their P&L, leading a high performing team and ensuring the standards of their store”.

While M&S has been through numerous turnarounds during this century, it’s clear that the pandemic has been a crossroads for the firm. 

The company said the “aftershocks of the crisis will endure for the next year and beyond and whilst some consumer habits will return to normal, other have been changed forever. The trend towards digital has been accelerated and changes to the shape of the high street have been brought forward. Through the crisis M&S learned valuable lessons; operating as a faster more efficient and more digitally focused business and responded with pace and agility to meet changing customer needs”.

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