Primark to axe hundreds of jobs – major fashion retailer forced to act as sales plunge

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The chain, which has 190 stores in the UK, is looking to make efficiencies in the management structures across its estate. It comes as the retailer reported a hit to sales due to fears over the Omicron variant over the Christmas period.

Kari Rodgers, Primark retail director for the UK, said: “The changes we’re proposing will deliver a simplified and more consistent management structure across all of our stores, provide more opportunities for career progression and offer greater flexibility, all of which are designed to help us provide the best possible experience for both our customers and our colleagues.

“We are now focused on supporting our colleagues who are affected by these proposed changes and will be going through the consultation process.”

Owners Associated British Foods said like-for-like sales were 10 percent lower in the 16 weeks to January 8 compared with the same period before the pandemic two years ago.

Footfall had been hit by the rapid rise in Omicron cases, with many forced to self-isolate.

It said trading had improved as fears over the variant had waned, and that sales compared to last year – when stores were shut due to the nation’s third lockdown – were higher.

It was ahead 36 percent in sales compared with last year, AB Foods noted.

The job cuts come at a crucial time for the high street, as many retail outlets have suffered from a lack of sales due to coronavirus restrictions.

Some retailers, such as Debenhams, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, have even closed their bricks-and-mortar outlets altogether.

With the cost of living on the rise, it is feared that retailers may not bounce back from the pandemic as had been hoped.

AB Foods said supply chain issues had begun to ease since last autumn, although it is still seeing some delays to shipments.

The group is offsetting higher costs by slashing operating costs and overheads, it said.

More to follow…

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