Job cuts at major retailers

Job cuts at major retailers

Job cuts at major retailers

Two of the UK’s biggest retailers, John Lewis and Boots, have announced 5,300 job cuts.

This comes as major retailers warn of additional job losses due to insufficient government support.

Unions have said that new economic support and recovery plans unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday will not be enough to stop millions of workers losing their jobs.

Boots has said 4,000 jobs will be axed.

John Lewis is shutting down eight stores, putting 1,300 jobs at risk.

John Lewis said that due to economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, it is looking to “secure the business’s long-term future and respond to customers’ shopping needs”.

Boots is restructuring its head office and store teams, and is planning to close 48 Boots Opticians stores.

John Lewis department stores in Birmingham and Watford will not reopen as the coronavirus lockdown eases.

Neither will John Lewis At Home stores in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth.

Travel sites at Heathrow airport and London St Pancras will also be shut down.

In March, John Lewis warned that it could be forced to close shops as a plunge in profits forced it to cut staff bonuses to their lowest level in almost 70 years.

It said the eight stores affected were already “financially challenged” even before the pandemic struck.

Sharon White, chairwoman of the John Lewis Partnership said:

“Closing a shop is always incredibly difficult and today’s announcement will come as very sad news to customers and partners.

“However, we believe closures are necessary to help us secure the sustainability of the partnership – and continue to meet the needs of our customers, however and wherever they want to shop.”

She added that John Lewis would do everything it could to keep on as many people as possible.

In response to his announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak admitted that there would be “a significant impact on unemployment and on job losses”.

He said:

“Is unemployment going to rise, are people going to lose their jobs?’ Yes, and the scale of this is significant.

“We are entering one of the most severe recessions this country has ever seen. That is of course going to have a significant impact on unemployment and on job losses.”

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