Marks & Spencer looks set to cut the jobs of nearly 1,000 staff, as the retailer revealed it too has seen its trading impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
The company is accelerating its management transformation plan in response to the virus, and confirmed that a consultation period with employee representatives has begun.
Voluntary redundancy packages will be offered to affected staff first, and it is understood the 950 cuts are expected to impact roles at the company’s head office, property and store management areas.
Other large retailers like John Lewis, Boots and Debenhams have also recently announced job losses.
What's happening at M&S?
Sacha Berendji, the director of retail, operations and property at M&S, said the proposals reflect an "important next step" in the company's 'Never The Same Again programme' to 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," she added.
“Our priority now is to support all those affected through the consultation process and beyond.”
The Never The Same Again programme was revealed in May by chief executive Steve Rowe, with M&S telling investors “central support costs and headcount will be examined at all levels” as part of the plan.
The programme had been due to last three years but the chain said it plans to condense this into one year.
How has coronavirus affected M&S?
M&S had already been undergoing a business transformation which included closing some stores and cutting jobs but due to the pandemic - these measures will now be sped up.
M&S’ food stores continued to trade throughout the lockdown period, but trading in other parts of its business was significantly reduced.
The firm said clothing sales fell by 84 per cent year-on-year at the lowest point in May, and warned that some customer habits had "changed forever".
Shares in the company slumped by two per cent to 96.8p after it announced the proposals.