Not a great time for High Street!
The British clothing retailer John Lewis has announced that following its reopening of 22 stores (out of 51) last month, it will open another 10 stores by 16 July. But its remaining 19 stores may never see the light of the day.
The company representative, speaking to media, said that there’s too much store space for the way people want to shop now. The probability of reopening the remaining 19 John Lewis stores, therefore, remains highly unlikely.
Sharon White, Chairman, John Lewis and Partners, substantiated on this further by adding that permanent closure of these stores would also lead to significant job cuts. It presently operates 51 stores that employ over 80,000 people.
Add to all this, John Lewis, for the first time in 6 decades, may not pay any bonus to its staff next year.
Meanwhile, another high street biggie Harrods has also announced to cut 700 jobs in its efforts to minimise costs.
Michael Wards, who heads Harrods, in a memo to his staff, said that owing to the current pandemic Harrods has been compelled to cut its workforce – which will be precisely 14 per cent of its 4,800 employees.
Arcadia Group too had the same story to tell as it announced its plans to cut down its head office operations. The Group said that the job cut was necessary to operate efficiently in these tough times.
The Group has said that it is all set to slash about 500 of its 2,500 head office jobs as a part of its revamping process.
Meanwhile, confronted with flurry of questions over huge job losses in the country, a worried British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged all the firms to put a hold on job cuts till times get better.
With cases surging in the UK again followed by the locking down of Leicester early this week, it remains to be seen where the fashion retail market is heading to in the days to come.