Selfridges plans to cut 450 jobs in 'toughest year' for retailer

28 July 2020, 10:07

The retailer has announced plans to cut 450 jobs
The retailer has announced plans to cut 450 jobs. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Selfridges has told staff it plans to cut 450 jobs - around 14% of its total headcount - as annual sales are set to be "significantly less" than last year due to the pandemic.

Managing director Anne Pitcher said high streets were changing even before Covid-19 and the business has now been forced to make "fundamental changes".

She promised staff who are on furlough that the fact they were not working now would have no effect on whether their role would be impacted. She promised more information to staff on Wednesday.

In an email to Selfridges staff, Ms Pitcher said: "How we work, shop and socialise is changing. Of course, our high streets were changing rapidly before Covid-19 arrived. As a creative business at the forefront of retail, we have a proud history of leading the way, however the speed and magnitude of what is happening right now and the impact on trading means we must make some more fundamental changes to our organisation to stay ahead and realise a more sustainable future.

"Like many others, we are feeling the effects and acknowledge that recovery will be slow, with sales this year forecast to be significantly less than they were in 2019. It will, without doubt, be the toughest year we have experienced in our recent history.

"As a family business, the hardest decisions are the ones that affect our people, which is why it pains me to share news today of the toughest decision we have ever had to take that we will, very regrettably, need to make a 14% net reduction in our overall headcount, approximately 450 roles."