Supermarket chain with branches in Eastbourne and Hailsham announces up to 1,000 jobs may be at risk

Around 1,000 jobs are at risk after an supermarket, which has branches in Eastbourne and Hailsham, announced its plans to ‘simplify’ its management structures.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 9:36 am

Waitrose, which has a store in High Street, Old Town, said the decision has been made in order to remain ‘competitive’ and to ‘attract customers’.

A John Lewis Partnership spokesperson said, “We have announced to our partners our intention to simplify our management structures in Waitrose and John Lewis stores, which will allow us to reinvest in what matters most to our customers.”

The group said they hope to reinvest in areas such as frontline customer service and visual merchandising.

Waitrose in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-171008-102847008
Waitrose in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-171008-102847008

If confirmed, the group said the proposals could result in around 1,000 roles being made redundant – about 2.7 roles per John Lewis and Waitrose shop on average.

The group explained their plan to reduce the number of layers between the most senior leaders and non-management staff in order to deliver what’s best for customers.

In regards to managerial posts within Waitrose, it is expected they could be replaced by non-management staff.

As previously announced, John Lewis Partnership’s five-year partnership plan requires the group to reduce costs by £300m per year by 2022.

If the decision goes ahead the group said they will be supporting staff.

The group said they will help staff in finding new roles in the business while doing what they can to minimise compulsory redundancies through voluntary redundancy and voluntary severance.

Staff that do leave through redundancy will be offered outplacement support and access to John Lewis Partnership’s retraining fund, according to the group.

The retraining fund contributes up to £3,000 towards a recognised qualification or course for up to two years for any staff member with at least two years of service.