Nearly 15,000 job cuts have been made in retail so far this year in the UK, according to industry research published this week in a “brutal” start to 2023.
Retail Gazette rounds up the retailers that are axing jobs this year.
M&Co plunged into administration in December and although it was rescued by Yours Clothing’s owner, its 170 store estate will close this spring, resulting in the loss of almost 2,000 jobs.
After M&Co appointed administrators for a second time at the end of last year, after previously collapsing in 2020, AK Retail Holdings bought the brand and intellectual property of M&Co.
However, the purchase did not include physical stores, meaning they will now close down at Easter.
Tesco bought the Paperchase brand and related IP in a pre-pack deal last month after it plunged into administration, however, it did not take its stores.
Therefore all 106 UK stores, which employ 800 staff, will close in the coming weeks.
At the start of the year Tesco unveiled plans to axe its remaining food counters and is rolling out a new store management structure, in a suite of store changes that will put more than 2,000 roles at risk.
Over the last couple of years the grocery giant has introduced a new management structure in approximately 350 of its smaller superstores.
The supermarket has also proposed the closure of eight pharmacies, where there are other pharmacies within one mile of a store.
Tesco said all affected colleagues will be offered alternatives roles in-store, adding “where we can work with a third party to offer a counter experience in-store, we will continue to do so.”
Earlier this month New Look said it would axe the night shift at its North Staffordshire warehouse, leaving 503 workers at risk of redundancy.
Impacted workers at the 1,200 employee site will now enter a consultation period with potential redundancies announced in mid-May.
The retailer said it was looking to potentially save 300 positions by transferring employees to the soon-to-be expanded day shift but that redundancies were inevitable across the workforce.
In another blow for staff at the fashion retailer, New Look also confirmed it would be shutting six stores across the UK this year.
It is axing its Birmingham, Coventry, Trowbridge, Kirkcaldy, Walthamstow, and Northampton stores.
Last week, Wilko revealed plans to cut over 400 jobs across its store network and head office as it strives to control costs.
The cuts include 150 assistant store managers and 95 employees from its contact centre in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, whose duties will be outsourced to a South African company later this month.
Dozens of head office management roles across commercial, finance, merchandising, marketing and retail operations will also be axed as the retailer restructures to a leaner operating model.
Wilko said the redundancies would help “stabilise the business” after it warned it was at risk of running out of cash by the end of 2023 if trading conditions continued to deteriorate.
Asda has put close to 300 roles at risk after making changes to its store operations.
The grocer is proposing to move some overnight restocking shifts at 184 stores to the daytime, placing 211 night shift manager roles at risk.
The changes will also affect 4,137 hourly paid workers, who will see shift patterns move to the daytime and lose their night shift pay premium of at least £2.52 per hour.
Asda is also shutting seven in-store pharmacies, which employ 14 pharmacists and 48 other workers.
The marketplace revealed it would make redundancies at the start of the year as demand for online shopping continues to decline.
Not on the High Street CEO Leanne Rothwell wrote in a letter to the company’s sellers and said: “Over the next few weeks I will be working with our teams to organise ourselves differently. The shape of the business will change in some areas and it is likely that a number of people will leave the business.”
It is unclear how many roles are impacted, however, the marketplace employs roughly 220 staff.
Gymshark confirmed last month that it would be making job cuts at its North American headquarters following a restructure of its US arm.
About 65 roles have been impacted by the move, which the sportswear retailer said was “purely for commercial reasons to centralise its operations”.
The retailer announced last year it would be making several redundancies, with 121 jobs at risk, as part of a wider restructure of its international business.
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