No-one was expecting a staff cull from John Lewis, which enjoyed record sales over the Christmas period. But alas, the department store chain has begun a consultation looking at how to cut 325 manager roles mainly in womenswear and beauty. The firm says it is ‘proposing to streamline management structures in some of our established shops.’
Rumour has it the firm wants to make the changes ahead of how it believes the retail environment will change over the coming years, rather than as a reflection of its current trading performance.
Presumably they imagine they are going to sell clothes and cosmetics increasingly online instead of in-store – so getting more staff into the warehouse instead of the shop floor probably makes sense.
Still, after it enjoyed a 13% rise in like-for-like sales in the run up to December 29 compared with the previous year, staff will be pretty miffed if their head is on the block.
The firm reckons some of these staff will be deployed elsewhere in the business, or move around on the ladder, either up or down.