Clarks to axe 900 jobs as high street store closures loom

SHOE shop Clarks has said it plans to cut 900 office jobs as part of a major shake-up.

The 195-year-old British retailer has announced 160 redundancies across its global operations, with 108 of the job losses at its headquarters in Street, Somerset.

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The retailer said it plans to create 200 new roles, but expects that roughly 700 employees will leave the business over the next 18 months.

It comes weeks after it announced that around 10 shops will be shut for good after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

Clarks says that it is helping staff who've lost their jobs today to find alternative employment within or outside the business.

It will focus future operations around three ranges of shoes – Clarks Originals, Clarks Collection and Cloudsteppers by Clarks – to "ignite our emotional connection with consumers".

Giorgio Presca, chief executive officer of Clarks, said: "This is helping us move fast to get ahead of the changes in the ways that our consumers live their lives, so that we are there for them every step of the way.

Which shops can stay open during UK lockdown?

  • Food retailers
  • Pharmacies
  • Hardware stores
  • Corner shops
  • Petrol stations
  • Shops in hospitals
  • Post offices
  • Banks
  • Newsagents
  • Laundrettes
  • Pet shops

"We are a business that walks its own path, and we are evolving to put our brand and consumers at the heart of everything we do.

"This will ensure that our organisation is made to last, empowering our people to contribute to a great future for the company."

It's the latest phase of the retailer's "made to last" strategy that it announced at the end of last year.

The first round of jobs were axed at the time of the announcement, with 170 employees leaving the company globally.

Clarks closed the majority of its stores across the globe as Government's dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.

Some shops in China and Europe have reopened, but all 347 UK stores remain temporarily shut.

Although the retailer expects to reopen most of these stores once the UK Government says that it's safe to.

Many other high street retailers have been negatively impacted by the outbreak, with some announcing stores will remain shut when the lockdown is lifted.

Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge are on the verge of collapse, putting 6,000 jobs at risk.

Restaurant chains Carluccio's and Byron have also hired insolvency advisers to prepare for permanent closures or to go out of business.

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