The high street stalwart is getting rid of 525 posts through a combination of fewer contractors, natural attrition and redundancies.
It also plans to reduce the number of roles permanently based in central London by about 400 across its IT and logistics functions as part of a strategy to “work more simply and more efficiently”. A number of roles are being moved to operations in Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, and Middlesex.
It comes less than two months after the retail giant’s chief executive branded the performance of its clothing and home arm “unacceptable” after like-for-like sales tumbled 8.9 per cent.
Rowe said today: “It is never easy to propose changes that impact on our people, but I believe that the proposals outlined today are absolutely necessary and will help us build a different type of M&S – one that can take bolder, pacier decisions, be more profitable and ultimately better serve our customers.”
He added: “M&S has to become a simpler and more effective organisation if we are to deliver our plans to recover and grow our business.”
The company said the staff cuts would result in significant savings amounting to about 1 per cent of its UK operating costs per year. It still expects costs to rise by about 3.5 per cent this year. A recent company-wide review showed the business has “become too complex and inefficient”.
M&S said it will start collective consultation with employees, and would “give careful consideration to any alternative proposals”.