Marks & Spencer to cut 7,000 jobs – MarketWatch

Pedestrians wearing a face mask or covering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, walk past an M&S (Marks and Spencer) store in central London on July 20, 2020.

tolga akmen/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Marks & Spencer, the iconic but struggling British retailer, on Tuesday said it plans to cut around 7,000 jobs, as the pandemic has depressed clothing sales.

M&S MKS, -2.33% said the job cuts will come over the next three months in its central support center, regional management as well as stores. It said it expects to achieve a significant proportion through voluntary departures and early retirement.

M&S said over the last 13 weeks, like-for-like food sales, excluding the closure of hospitality and travel franchise units, rose 10.6%, while clothing and home revenue slumped 38.5%. Since stores re-opened, total clothing and home sales have been down 29.9%.

The retailer said in the last 8 weeks, online sales have represented 41% of its clothing and home total.

It said it’s on track to become the food supplier to online delivery company Ocado OCDO, +1.17% in September and said it’s seeing the benefit already in terms of trading terms and an expanded range created for the switchover.

M&S shares have dropped 47% this year, compared to a 19% drop for the FTSE 100 UKX, +0.36%, which it has been exiled from.

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