British retailers to slash thousands of jobs

The UK government’s furlough scheme will end in October, adding to the woes of hundreds of companies and their staff

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The British government has provided financial assistance to about 9.3 million workers in the UK, by paying up to 80 per cent of their wages through their furlough scheme. However, the scheme will end in October. This has only added to the woes of various retailers who are already facing a financial crisis.

British multinational retailer, Marks & Spencer, may slash over 900 jobs in the face of dipping sales and the ongoing pandemic. Having been forced to shut many outlets during the lockdown, the Company is clearly in a tight financial situation. Profits fell by 50 per cent in May, due to which M&S has been considering cost-cutting measures.

As part of its transformation plan in Britain, the retailer is looking at an overhauling of its management structure, taking care of redundancies, and making the senior managers more accountable, keeping in mind the future and sustainability. This restructuring will give an opportunity to its retail teams to concentrate only on customers.

Earlier this month, UK’s health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain, Boots, along with John Lewis & Partners, which also has a chain of department stores in the UK, had revealed their plan to slash over 5,000 jobs.

Harrods had also made known its intention to slash up to 700 jobs early this month, which is about 14 per cent of its workforce. The luxury department store had made it clear that unless major improvements take place in the market conditions externally, it will be very difficult for it to recover.

Restrictions on international travel and lack of tourists is one of the major reasons for dipping sales.

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