Upmarket retailer Selfridges has announced plans to axe 450 jobs as a result of Covid-19.
The company – which has four stores including the Bullring in Birmingham and Oxford Street in London as well as two in Greater Manchester – expects sales to be ‘significantly less’ than last year due to the pandemic.
Now it is looking to reduce its overhall headcount by around 14 per cent to mitigate the impact the virus is having on UK high streets.
Group managing director Anne Pitcher told staff that the firm’s recovery will be ‘slow’ and added that 2020 will be ‘the toughest year we have experienced in our recent history.’
The retailer is now due to start a collective consultation with elected team member representatives and trade unions to discuss the proposals.
Mrs Pitcher said: “As you would expect at such a critical time, we have been carefully examining every aspect of our business – our structures, our costs, our ways of working – from top to bottom, leaving no stone unturned to ensure we are fit for purpose and the future.
“This has involved reviewing all non-essential expenses as well as pausing projects and initiatives where prudent to do so.
“The task ahead is significant and, as we look to reinvent retail and prepare to build back, we will need to go further.”
She added: “As a family business, the hardest decisions are the ones that affect our people, which is why it pains me to share news today of the toughest decision we have ever had to take that we will, very regrettably, need to make a 14 per cent net reduction in our overall headcount, approximately 450 roles.”
Selfridges closed its stores in March following the Government’s lockdown announcement and re-opened in June.