The owner of John Lewis and Waitrose plans to cut 1,000 store jobs as part of a cost-cutting effort.
The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) said it would aim to find new jobs for those who lose their store management roles and aim to reduce mandatory job cuts by offering voluntary layoffs to those affected.
The group has said it is simplifying its store management structures as part of a plan to cut costs by £ 300million per year by 2022.
JLP pledged to cut costs after reporting its first annual loss in March and giving up its annual staff bonus for the first time in 67 years.
A JLP spokesperson said: “We have announced to our [staff] our intention to simplify our management structures in the Waitrose and John Lewis stores, which will allow us to reinvest in what matters most to our customers.
The job cuts, first reported in the trade magazine Retail Week, come after a few difficult years for the staff-owned group, which employs more than 80,000 people. It closed 16 John Lewis stores, including major outlets in York, Peterborough, Sheffield and Aberdeen, resulting in the loss of more than 2,500 jobs.
JLP announced the cut of another 1,500 head office positions in November of last year. He also cut one in three management positions at headquarters – 75 out of 225 – as part of a reorganization announced in 2019.
John Lewis and other department stores have been particularly affected by changing shopping habits as well as by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced non-food retailers to close their doors for many months.
The shift to online shopping, increased competition and high costs, including commercial rates associated with large premises, have led to the demise of several rival department store chains.
Debenhams now trades only online, while Beales has closed almost all stores. House of Fraser has reduced the number of its stores by about a quarter.