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M&S to axe 7,000 jobs in multi-level streamlining

Marks and Spencer has announced its plan to axe 7,000 roles across the business over the next three months. 

It comes as the group confirmed the launch of a multi-level streamlining programme that will see redundancies in its central support centre, regional management, and UK stores.

According to the retailer, the move reflects the “change which has been felt throughout the business”.

A “significant proportion” of redundancies will be through voluntary departures and early retirement, according to the retailer, which will now enter an “extensive” consultation with employees regarding the programme.    

Despite the losses, the group expects to create a “number” of new jobs through its investment in online fulfilment and new ambient food warehouse.

The retailer said the streamlining programme is an “important step in delivering on our cost savings programme and ensuring we emerge from the crisis with a lower cost base and a stronger more resilient business”.

In its latest update, the group said that food sales have “built steadily” and risen by 2.5% in the last 13 weeks, while like-for-like food sales, excluding the impact of closed hospitality and travel franchise units, were up 10.6%.

In its clothing and home business, total revenue was down 38.5% in the last 13 weeks, but trends have been “steadily improving” in the eight weeks since stores reopened, with total sales now down 29.9%.

CEO Steve Rowe said: “In May we outlined our plans to learn from the crisis, accelerate our transformation and deliver a stronger, more agile business in a world in which some customer habits were changed forever. 

“Three months on and our Never the Same Again programme is progressing; albeit the outlook is uncertain and we remain cautious.” 

He added: “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.”

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