M&S announces management cuts impacting 950 jobs

Up to 950 jobs are at risk at M&S as the retailer accelerates its plans to become a “stronger, leaner and more resilient business”.

The retailer has started the consultation process and said the roles at risk would include head office and store management roles in order to remove role duplication and provide clearer leadership accountabilities. It plans to first offer voluntary redundancy to impacted employees.

“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,” said Sacha Berendji, director of retail, operations and property at M&S.

“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.”

The retailer said it wants to reduce the number of management roles, and use technology and insight to empower remaining store managers to be “more focused on the customer and enable more time on the shop floor”. Under the restructure store managers would have more accountability over their stores and customers.

The announcement comes at a critical time for retail following months of forced closure to prevent the spread of coronavirus. During its prelims in May, M&S set out its ‘Never the Same Again’ programme highlighting how Covid-19 will continue to negative impact the business for the next 12 months. 

An increased focus on eCommerce is also part of its transformation plans as it looks to adapt to the "new normal" of retail. 

John Lewis and Boots have also announced drastic job cuts in recent weeks. While the high street has also witnessed casualties including Oasis, Warehouse and TM Lewin.