WH Smith could cut 1,500 jobs after sales plummet


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WH Smith

WH Smith plans to cut 1,500 jobs – 11% of its workforce – after the lockdown slumps sales.

A trade update said he expected losses of between £ 70million and £ 75million.

The company said it was a very difficult decision. He said he was determined to support his colleagues throughout the process and to ensure that it was conducted fairly.

The newsagent is the latest High Street name to consider sweeping action amid the chaos caused by the coronavirus.

The company, which has 612 High Street stores and employs more than 14,000 people, has seen revenues from its worst-hit divisions, airports and train stations, drop 92% in the first month of lockdown.

Its top-performing division, the High Street, was still down 25% from a year ago in July, after the lockdown was relaxed.

The announcement comes after William Hill said 119 of his High Street betting shops would not reopen after the forced closure by the coronavirus outbreak.

WH Smith Group Managing Director Carl Cowling said: “While there has been some progress in ourHigh Street activity, it continues to be affected by the low attendance rate.

“As a result, we now need to take additional steps to reduce costs in our operations. I regret that this has an impact on a large number of colleagues whose roles will be affected by these necessary measures. ”

He added that the company would do “everything possible to support them during this difficult time”.

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