Shoe firm Clarks plans 900 job cuts with some stores shut for good

Tom BelgerFinance and policy reporter
Yahoo Finance UK
Clarks shoe store on Oxford Street, London. (David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment)
Clarks shoe store on Oxford Street, London. (David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment)

Shoe firm Clarks has announced plans to slash 900 office jobs over the next 18 months as part of a shakeup of the company.

The high street retailer has already furloughed thousands of staff on the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, while its hundreds of stores have shut during the lockdown. Clarks has previously said “a small number” of stores with lease renewals approaching will not reopen as the lockdown eases and would be shut for good.

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The job cuts are part of a turnaround plan that began before the coronavirus crisis, and are set to hit office-based roles. 200 new roles will be created however, with around 700 employees expected to leave the company.

About 160 workers are reported to have been made redundant this week, including at its headquarters in Street, Somerset. 170 had also left the firm last year, according to PA.

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The company said the changes formed part of a new long-term ‘Made to last’ strategy, which it said focused on “sustainability, product innovation, design and quality, and digital enhancement.”

Giorgio Presca, CEO since last year, said: “There are exciting opportunities ahead for our business, and we are having to make some difficult decisions to get there.

“We thank all affected staff for their contribution to our business and they leave their roles with our heartfelt respect and support.”

The company also said it had been reviewing “funding options,” with the high street reeling from collapsing revenue after non-essential stores were forced to close.

Clarks dates back to 1825, and has around 345 stores in Britain.

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