Tough times ahead for about 400 Marks & Spencer staff in Peterborough after jobs warning

The Marks and Spencer store at Brotherhood Retail Park.
ENGEMN00120121016162836The Marks and Spencer store at Brotherhood Retail Park.
The Marks and Spencer store at Brotherhood Retail Park. ENGEMN00120121016162836
Hundreds of Marks & Spencer staff in Peterborough face an uncertain future after the retailer announced plans to axe 7,000 jobs.

The food and clothing chain, which has four stores across Peterborough employing roughly 450 people, has warned that it will cut 7,000 jobs over the next three months as it battles to counter a drop in sales in its stores.

But the retailer has so far refused to say which stores will bear the impact of the proposed redundancies.

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An M&S spokesman said: “Across M&S, we need to accelerate our transformation to become a leaner, faster, more efficient business and deliver on our promise to make the positive ways we have worked during the pandemic permanent and ensure we are set up to serve our customers’ needs.

“At this stage what we’ve announced is a reduction of about 7,000 roles across the UK and we’re not breaking out changes by store or region.”

About 200 staff are employed by M&S at its 50,000sq ft food and clothing store in the Queensgate shopping centre, which underwent a major transformation four years ago when the retailer closed its clothing store in Bridge Street, Peterborough.

M&S also has about 110 staff at its 69,000 sq ft clothing, homewares and food store at the Brotherhood Retail Park, Walton, which it opened eight years ago.

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In addition, it has about 100 staff at its Foodhall in the Serpentine Green shopping centre, in Hampton, and it is thought there are about 25 staff at its Simply Food outlet at the Moto service station at junction 17 on the A1.

The redundancy warning came during a trading update as M&S revealed that its clothing and home trading in the stores remains well below last year, with online and home delivery getting stronger.

The company stated: “It is clear that there has been a material shift in trade and whilst it is too early to predict with precision where a new post Covid sales mix will settle, we must act now to reflect this change.

“As a result we are today embarking on a multi-level consultation programme which we anticipate will result in a reduction of about 7,000 roles over the next three months.

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“These will include departures in our central support centre, in regional management, and in our UK stores, reflecting the fact that the change has been felt throughout the business.

“We expect a significant proportion will be through voluntary departures and early retirement. In line with our long-standing value of treating our people well, we will now begin an extensive programme of communication with colleagues.”