BOSSES at John Lewis are planning to axe a number of branches, jobs as well as bonuses as it battles to survive.
The cost-cutting drive was revealed in a letter to staff, according to the Evening Standard.
John Lewis, which also includes Waitrose, has 80,000 staff.
At the beginning of the coronavirus crisis it warned that all of its 50 department stores were unlikely to reopen.
A total of 24 stores have reopened, while plans to reopen a further 10 were announced today.
It’s unclear which branches face closing, but John Lewis plans to update staff – who are partners in the business – before revealing the locations.
According to The Standard the letter written by chairman Sharon White, said: “Regrettably, it is likely that there will implications for some Partners’ jobs. We are in active discussions with landlords about ending some leases and renegotiating others to make the terms more flexible.
TIME IS TICKING
Families have one month to check and renew tax credits or benefits may stop
A John Lewis spokesperson said: “The reality is that we have too much store space for the way people want to shop now and we have shared this with our Partners.
“As difficult as it is, it is highly unlikely we will reopen all our John Lewis stores. However no decision has been made and any details would be shared with Partners first by the middle of July.”
In March, John Lewis revealed annual profits slumped 23 per cent to £123million and cut its annual bonus to 2 per cent – the lowest since it was launched in 1953.
Which John Lewis shops have reopened?
- High Wycombe
- Cribbs Causeway, Bristol
- Milton Keynes
- Peter Jones, London
- Tunbridge Wells
To reopen on July 13:
- Trafford Centre
Opening on July 16:
John Lewis isn’t alone in closing shops, rivals including Debenhams have announced some branches will never reopen.
High Street staples including Laura Ashley, Cath Kidston, Oasis and Warehouse have also gone into adminstration and won’t be reopening shops.
Experts predict that it’s going to get worse with up to two million workers expected to become unemployed over the next few months as the true impact of the Covid-19 outbreak is revealed.
Money Saving Expert expert Martin Lewis warned a million people could lose their jobs in the next six weeks after major companies announced thousands of redundancies.
All of the job losses since June 2020
MANY firms have announced job cuts since June as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. These include:
- Shoe chain Aldo collapsed into administration with five stores permanently closed
- Victoria’s Secrets plunged into administration, putting 800 jobs at risk
- Fashion chain Quiz put its shop business into administration in , putting 82 stores at risk
- British Gas owners cuts 5,000 jobs, over half of which will be in management
- Airbus announces 1,700 job losses. It expects cuts to be made by summer 2021
- TM Lewin says it will close all 66 of its UK shops, putting 600 jobs at risk
- Harveys Furniture goes into administration resulting in 240 immdiate job losses and puts another 1,000 at risk
- Upper Crust plans to make 5,000 out of its 9,000-strong workforce redundant
- EasyJet says it plans to close hubs at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, putting 4,500 jobs at risk
“I’m afraid to say, due to the change in furlough coming on August 1st, I think hundreds of thousands of people – possibly a million – could face redundancy in the next six weeks,” he told viewers of his Money Show on ITV.
The Treasury forecasts 10 per cent unemployment and company closures when the furlough scheme finally comes to and end in the autumn, while a poll of businesses owners predicts that a quarter of furloughed workers are likely to lose their jobs.
From today, employers can bring back furloughed staff part-time but from August they will be expected to pay their National Insurance and pensions contributions.
Harveys Furniture left staff stunned yesterday when they were told the company had gone into administration, a day after being brought back from furlough.