Coronavirus: Marks and Spencer Announces 7,000 Job Cuts

Marks & Spencer chain announces cut of 7,000 jobs worldwide

ECONOMIC CRISIS: The job cuts at Marks and Spencer will mainly affect stores in the UK or supervisory staff

British retail chain Marks and Spencer on Tuesday announced it would cut 7,000 jobs over the next three months due to the impact of the pandemic and a drop in-store visits.

The group, which employs more than 80,000 people around the world, explains in a statement that these workforce reductions will be done mainly on a voluntary basis or through early retirement .

“Consumption habits have definitely changed”

Marks and Spencer intend to adapt to the change in consumer habits, which has accelerated with the health crisis, and to focus on its online activities. The job cuts will mainly affect stores in the United Kingdom or even supervisory staff, specifies Marks and Spencer, who also plans to create jobs in internet sales.

“In May, we announced that we would learn from the crisis, would accelerate our transformation and become a more agile company in a world where consumption habits have definitely changed,” said Steve Rowe, CEO of the group.

Difficulties in its clothing and household products branch

Marks and Spencer also unveiled activity figures down sharply this summer with a 10% drop in sales between early June and early August.

Above all, the brand is encountering difficulties in its clothing and home products branch, which has been its Achilles heel for years and whose turnover fell by 29.9% over the period. She estimated that these businesses are affected by physical distancing and a drop in footfall to its downtown stores or malls.

Online sales up 39.2%

On the other hand, online sales in this branch increased by 39.2%, thanks in particular to its investments to increase its distribution capacities. Marks and Spencer is also observing a shift towards shopping for leisure or leisure clothing due to the use of work from home by many people in the UK. Its sales in food grew by 2.5% over the same period.

Marks and Spencer is now relying heavily on the first steps of its partnership with online food distributor Ocado from September. This will be a first for the brand, which has until now been absent from online food sales, unlike many of its competitors.

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