John Lewis is planning to cut 325 managerial roles in a surprising move from one of the safest havens of high-street, taking the toll of job losses in high-street to 4,000. The department store chain, riding high on bumper Christmas sales last year, is likely to replace 10 department managers overseeing furnishings and beauty sections, along with one or two senior managers at 28 of its 40 stores under its Retail Revolution plan. It is alleged that John Lewis job cuts are being effected based on the fact that most of the retail sales growth happened online.
John Lewis job cuts are thought to be the largest since 2009, when 700 in-store call centre employees were sacked. The department managers who are to be axed, are believed to have been notified of the eventuality and given four weeks to put forward their views before a 90-day consultation in March.
The department store chain explained the decision of sacking department managers who held salaries between £35,000 and £45,000, as a result of changed working methods of new stores in which it was “proposing to streamline management structures in some of our established shops”. But, John Lewis also reassured that, “There will be opportunities for redeployment in new roles created as part of this process or in new shops due to open over the next 18 months.”
John Lewis, which was described as the face of ‘responsible capitalism’ by ministers, is playing safe in a dismal market where retail chain casualties are order of the day. “What we are doing is anticipating how the retail market is changing and ensuring our shop model is competitive for the long term. Otherwise, we will end up in a position that some of our competitors are reflecting”, John Lewis stated.