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Gloucestershire Business News

M&S to shed 7,000 jobs before Christmas

High street giant Marks & Spencer is to 7,000 jobs over the next three months, in both in-store and management roles.

M&S said the coronavirus crisis had made it clear there had been a "material shift in trade", as reported by the BBC.

The retailer, which has 10 stores in the county - in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cirencester and Tewkesbury, said in-store sales of clothing and home goods were significantly down on 2019, while online and home deliveries were strong.

M&S is set to cut almost a tenth of its workforce and and said it hoped most of these could be made up of voluntary redundancies and early retirements.

Operating during the pandemic had showed Marks & Spencer that it could work more flexibly, with staff multi-tasking and moving between food, clothing and home departments.

Total sales in clothing and home have fallen 29.9 per cent in the eight weeks since shops reopened - with store sales plunging 47.9 per cent and online sales going up by 39.2 per cent. Meanwhile, food sales have risen by 2.5 per cent in the last 13 weeks.

M&S employs almost 78,000 people, most of them in the UK. The bulk of the job cuts are expected to be shop floor workers, but the retailer is shifting more staff across to its online and food sales.

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