MARKS & SPENCER has said 950 jobs are at risk as part of plans to reduce store management and head office roles.

The high street retailer said the proposals will help move the company to "a leaner, faster retail management structure" as it accelerates its transformation plan after being disrupted by the coronavirus lockdown.

M&S said it has now started collective consultation with employee representatives and has set out plans to first offer voluntary redundancy to affected staff.
It said the cuts are set to impact roles in the company's head office, property and store management areas.

Sacha Berendji, director of retail, operations and property at M&S, said: "Our proposals reflect an important next step in our Never The Same Again programme to accelerate our transformation and become a stronger, leaner and more resilient business.

"Through the crisis we have seen how we can work faster and more flexibly by empowering store teams and it's essential that we embed that way of working.

"Our priority now is to support all those affected through the consultation process and beyond."

Nigel Frith, a senior market analyst at, said this November will show the true scale of how coronavirus has affected the supermarket chain.

He said: "We are hearing the word 'reconstruct' more often when it comes to brands slashing jobs, and it's no new story here. With plans to axe 950 jobs at M&S, it's again another label that are being hit with uncertainty and yet another name that is being left in the lingo to come up with a quick plan before they are lost altogether. 

"Why has the coronavirus hit sales at M&S? It's a supermarket? People are looking for cheaper deals. More than one in four workers are furloughed, meaning that earning just 80% of their salary is enough for shoppers to look elsewhere, and although the food shops remained open for essential supplies, M&S's customers weren't purchasing items of clothing, therefore their clothing sales were down by 84% in May. Not to mention perhaps most of these existing customers were probably shielding, therefore unable to physically get into the store. 

"M&S have their half-year trading results in November, so it will be a couple of months before we really get to see what damage COVID-19 has done to the brand. The answer is always the same, the quicker you can adapt your brand to the aftermath of the pandemic, the more likely your brand is to survive in the upcoming months. The big bosses need to be thinking strategically and more long term. 27,000 of its 78,000 workforces were furloughed, and yes many have returned to work, but its consumer shopping habits that are changing, and a brand is not going to survive if a brand is not giving consumers what they need or want - hence the choice to go elsewhere."