Published: Sat, February 25, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

John Lewis to axe 387 jobs amid 'structural change'


John Lewis is to cut 387 jobs as part of its efforts to limit costs as the retail sector prepares for a more hard year.

Department store John Lewis is shedding almost 400 jobs across its restaurants and home fittings service as it grapples with the pressures facing the retail sector.

The group, which has a flagship store at Birmingham's Grand Central and shops in Solihull and Tamworth, said it would affect its home estimating and fitting administration support team and also its catering operations.

In an attempt to cut costs and be more efficient, John Lewis is now in talks with 773 of its staff about redundancy.

John Lewis has not said at this stage where exactly the job losses will fall but it is hopeful some staff will be redeployed into new roles.

Staff affected will be those working in the John Lewis home estimation and fitting services, responsible for measuring up in customers' homes and installing flooring, blinds and curtains.

The company said that 387 jobs would go as a result of the restructuring.

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Administration roles will move to its centre in Didsbury, Manchester, this will also serve online customers.

John Lewis operations director, Dino Rocos, said its decision was a response to the changing needs of customers amid "a backdrop of structural changes in the retail industry".

This will involve a centrally created menu requiring less preparation in cafés and restaurants in individual shops.

'This new model will enable us to change our menu more regularly to keep up with trends, more easily meet the dietary requirements of customers, and give a more consistent offering across all of our shops, ' the retailer said.

Abouy 773 staff have now entered redundancy consultation and been given the opportunity to apply for 386 new roles.

The job loss announcement comes after the high street bellwether said last month that it expects its renowned staff bonus to be "significantly lower" than a year ago in the face of a challenging market outlook.

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