Covid-19: Mulberry to reduce global workforce by 25%

Luxury fashion and accessories brand Mulberry has launched a consultation process which is set to result in the loss of hundreds of jobs across its global business.

In a company update released today (8 June), Mulberry indicated a 25% reduction in its headcount has been proposed as it looks to manage its operations and cost base to reflect new market conditions caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Mulberry said despite a positive digital sales performance on its own website and digital channels, as well as via digital concessions, over the crisis period, store closures around the world have prompted it to make redundancies. It noted that even as its stores reopen, social distancing measures and reduced tourism will negatively impact sales.

The business said it had taken all necessary steps to manage its inventory levels in line with anticipated changes in demand because of Covid-19, and it has maintained a positive dialogue with lenders to ensure it has the resources to navigate the current environment. Mulberry plans to reopen shops in the UK from 15 June, in line with government guidance.

Thierry Andretta, CEO of Mulberry, said: "We reacted swiftly to manage the impact of Covid-19 and continue to execute a well-developed plan to manage capital, reduce costs and maintain a robust liquidity position. 

“In spite of the good performance of our sector leading digital and omnichannel platform, and our global network of digital concessions, the shutting of all our physical stores has had, and will continue to have, a marked effect on our business.”

He added: “Launching a consultation process has been an incredibly difficult decision for us to make but it is necessary for us to respond to these challenging market conditions, protect the maximum number of jobs possible and safeguard the future of the business. We remain confident in the strength of the Mulberry brand and our strategy over the long term."