John Lewis set to cut hundreds of jobs

Multi channel retail chain John Lewis has announced proposals to update a number of its operations which could lead to almost 400 fewer jobs.

John Lewis is in consultation with staff about the proposed removal of nearly 800 jobs, primarily in its customer catering and store administration areas.

The group, which has a flagship store at Birmingham's Grand Central and shops in Solihull and Tamworth, said it would affect its home estimating and fitting administration support team and also its catering operations.

Some of the staff who enter the consultation could be re-deployed to the new positions.

John Lewis said chef redudancies are part of a strategy that will see the company's cafes serve ready-to-eat meals delivered by external suppliers, rather than having food prepared on the spot.

Staff affected will be those working in the John Lewis home estimation and fitting services, responsible for measuring up in customers' homes and installing flooring, blinds and curtains. The retailer says more skilled roles will be created as "a period of change, investment and innovation for the business".


The changes come amid falling profits at the store.

The John Lewis group - which includes Waitrose - warned last month that its annual bonus for staff, known as "partners" because they own the company collectively, would fall significantly this year and that staff numbers would drop after operating profits dived 58.3% to £113.7m in the six months to the end of July.

"These proposals will allow us to modernise our business as it adapts to the changing needs of our customers and the role that shops play in their lives", said Dino Rocos, John Lewis operations director.

The firm also stated that around 773 jobs could be affected by the redundancy, however there will be 386 new posts made available for people to apply to.

'This new model will enable us to change our menu more regularly to keep up with trends, more easily meet the dietary requirements of customers, and give a more consistent offering across all of our shops, ' the retailer said.

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