Sussex M&S staff to be affected as 7,000 job cuts announced

Staff at Marks and Spencer stores across Sussex could be impacted after the company announced 7,000 job losses.

The news has been described as a ‘devastating blow’ to the chain’s workers and ‘another bombshell’ for our high streets – which were struggling even before the coronavirus crisis.

M&S announced today (August 18) it will be cutting the 7,000 jobs across its stores and management in the next three months.

It comes after the announcement in July that 950 store management roles at the company are at risk.

M&S, photo by Getty Images

M&S said the decision was made to ‘streamline’ the business due to a major shift in how customers behave, prompted by the covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement it said: “Clothing and Home trading in the stores remains well below last year, with online and home delivery strong.

“It is clear there has been a material shift in trade and, whilst it is too early to predict with precision where a new post covid sales mix will settle, we must act now to reflect this change.”

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is calling for more support from the government and for M&S to listen to its staff who are part of the union.

National officer Dave Gill said: “This job loss announcement is yet another devastating blow for M&S staff and yet another bombshell for our high streets.

“The Government has a clear choice: do they want to see the high street go to the wall, or do they want to help save it?”

The union is calling for ‘fundamental’ reforms of business rates, a review of rent costs, more funding for local authorities to support town centres, and a new deal for retail workers centred around a living wage and guaranteed hours.

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