M&S To Axe 500 Head Office Jobs As Chief Battles Sales Slide
The high street chain will announce job cuts as its new chief battles to improve its sales performance, Sky News learns.
Saturday 03 September 2016
By Mark Kleinman, City Editor
Marks & Spencer will axe 500 jobs at its head office next week as its new chief executive attempts to halt a protracted slump in sales which has left the company facing renewed questions about its strategy.
Sky News has learnt that M&S is to cull roughly 15% of the roles at its headquarters in Paddington, London - with more than half of the cuts affecting contractors.
Sources said the cuts, which will follow a statutory period of consultation with employees, are likely to be announced next Thursday.
M&S's announcement - which will affect head office rather than shop floor staff - may threaten to further strain relations with employees after a public row over pay and conditions.
The government has abandoned plans to launch a major retail share offer of the 9% of Lloyds Bank it still owns.
The chancellor said market volatility meant it was not sensible to attempt to sell the multi-billion pound stake it still owns to members of the public.
The shares will now be sold via a "trading plan" - small tranches of shares sold to institutional investors.
Philip Hammond said the private sale would ensure the taxpayer recovered the "full investment" made in the bank.
He said that £17bn of the £20bn invested by the government, when it bailed out the bank during the financial crisis, had already been sold back to the market.
"We need to recover the taxpayers' money," Mr Hammond said, saying that he wanted Lloyds to be fully back in the private sector.
"The proceeds of the Lloyds bank sale - the priority is to turn those assets into cash and use those to reduce debt," Mr Hammond said.
He said that the sale of the government's stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland was "not practical at the moment" whilst the bank was under the threat of fines from the Department of Justice in America and was struggling to sell its Williams and Glyn branch network.
Travis Perkins owner Wickes closing 30 shops – 600 jobs at risk due to 'uncertain' trading
WICKES owner, Travis Perkins, the UK’s biggest builders merchant, is closing 30 shops possibly putting 600 people out of work.
PUBLISHED: 09:12, Wed, Oct 19, 2016 | UPDATED: 09:28, Wed, Oct 19, 2016
The company is shutting down branches over weak sales
The company, which employs 28,000 people across its 2,060 stores, said it was taking the steps due to an “uncertain UK outlook” for next year.
Profits will also be lower than expected this year due to weak sales in its plumbing and heating division.
The firm is closing branches of Travis Perkins, Benchmarx, BSS and PTS, but not Wickes.
Chief executive John Carter said : “It is still too early to predict customer demand in 2017 with certainty and we will continue to monitor our lead indicators closely. Given this uncertainty we will be closing over 30 branches and making further efficiency driven changes in the supply chain, resulting in an exceptional charge of £40-50 million this year.”
We will be closing over 30 branches and making further efficiency driven changes
John Carter, chief executive
The 600 affected workers have been told of the changes, while the firm is also closing 10 smaller distribution centres and writing off IT equipment.
Shares in the company fell 5 per cent in early trading today, and are down more than 22 per cent since June.
Marks & Spencer to shut 60 stores after half-year profit plunge warning
07:28, 8 Nov 2016
Updated 08:42, 8 Nov 2016
By Graham Hiscott , Gavin Allen
The retail giant has posted an 18.6% plunge in half-year underlying profits as it announces more detail of the closures plan
A number of Marks and Spencer stores will close in an overhaul across the company
Marks & Spencer is to close 60 clothing and home stores as it posts an 18.6% plunge in half-year profits.
In a radical shake-up of its business model to cut costs as part of a revival plan, will close about 30 full line UK stores and change around 45 stores to only sell food. Other UK stores would be re-located.
The full list of closures has not yet been revealed but M&S plans to shut 53 stores across 10 international markets - including 10 in China and seven in France, while pulling out of Belgium, Estonia, Hungary and Lithuania - putting around 2,100 jobs at risk
Staples to disappear from UK high streets after sale by US owner
The struggling UK arm of the American firm, which employs 1,100 staff across 106 stores, has been bought for a "nominal sum".
Thursday 17 November 2016
Staples made a loss of £5m according to its last set of annual accounts
Staples is loss-making in the UK, according to its last set of accounts
Office stationery brand Staples will disappear from the UK high street after its US owner sold the struggling business.
Staples Inc, which had put its European operations under review in May to save cash after authorities blocked a merger with Office Depot, said the struggling UK operation was bought by restructuring specialists Hilco Capital for a "nominal sum".
It has over 100 stores in the country and employs more than 1,100 staff.
Hilco, known in retail circles for its rescue of HMV, said while it would phase out the Staples brand in the UK over the coming months it did not yet know whether there would be any impact on the workforce.
Hilco's Paul McGowan said: "While retail in the UK has been challenged recently, a team led by retail veteran Alan Gaynor will work alongside the existing management team to build a plan for success for the business."
Staples has been battling stiff competition from supermarkets and in the digital marketplace in the UK, where it has been offering a price match pledge.
The digital age has also been blamed for taking its toll on the business, which recorded a pre-tax loss of £5m in its latest annual accounts to January 2015.
Not surprised Staples went tits up.
They are so bloody expensive and when you can buy stationary in the pound shops as I get for Little Miss D1 its understandable.
Still as with BHS my heart goes out to the staff of the firm.
Co-op Bank to cut 200 jobs in Manchester and Stockport
1 hour ago
From the section Manchester
Deputy chief executive Liam Coleman said the job losses were "critical"
Co-operative Bank is cutting 200 jobs as it looks to continue its recovery.
Staff have been told the posts will go by March and will mainly affect management and head office roles in Manchester and Stockport.
Deputy chief executive Liam Coleman said the cost reductions were "critical" as it continues its three-year plan to rebuild the business.
The bank almost collapsed in 2013 and it expects to continue to be loss-making until the end of next year.
Mr Coleman said: "These cost reductions are critical to progressing our turnaround and delivering a cost base which supports a sustainable core bank."
He said it would continue to consult colleagues and trade unions on the proposals over the coming weeks.
"We have made progress in turning the bank around since 2013, but have always been clear that the bank's recovery is a difficult journey."
He said the business would not make a profit this year or next year while it continues its "turnaround plan in a challenging economic environment".
Rob MacGregor, national officer at trade union Unite, said: "The speed and breadth of these cuts will hit the Co-operative Bank's much cherished customer service and with it the bank's unique selling point.
"Compulsory redundancies are anathema to all trade unions, but the timing of this exercise just before Christmas is a real blow to our members."
He said the union would be supporting members and pressing the bank to reconsider the cuts where possible.
The bank was owned by the Co-operative Group until 2013, when a £1.5bn hole was discovered in its finances.
The group had to go to outside investors to support the Co-op Bank, which is now 80% owned by US hedge funds, with the remainder held by the Co-op Group.
Bank of England spent £100K on summer party as country grappled with Brexit vote
Saphora Smith |
4 hours ago|
Mark Carney: The Governor of the Bank of England PA
The Bank of England spent almost £100,000 of public money on its annual summer party at a time when the country was reeling from the Brexit vote, it has been revealed.
A fortnight after the UK voted to leave the European Union, governor Mark Carney and around 2,500 Bank staff and their families partied at the annual summer sports day, spending £99,035 of tax payers' money.
The Bank said it "carefully budgeted" for the Governors' Day party on July 10 which was held at its sports grounds in Roehampton, south west London.
Monarch Airlines goes into administration: 110,000 customers to be flown home in biggest ever operation of its kind in peacetime
Monarch tells customers: Do not go to the airport
1 hour ago
The Evening Standard
The UK's biggest peacetime repatriation operation is under way to return 110,000 Monarch Airlines customers after the airline, which employs around 2,750 people, collapsed into administration.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it has been asked by the Government to charter more than 30 aircraft to bring the passengers back to the UK after the airline failed to renew a crucial licence.
Some 300,000 future bookings have been cancelled as a result of the company's failure, the largest to hit a UK airline, and customers have been told to keep away from airports as there will be no more flights.
CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: "We know that Monarch's decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its customers and employees.
110,000 people now need to be flown back to the UK (Reuters)
"This is the biggest UK airline ever to cease trading, so the Government has asked the CAA to support Monarch customers currently abroad to get back to the UK at the end of their holiday at no extra cost to them.
"We are putting together, at very short notice and for a period of two weeks, what is effectively one of the UK's largest airlines to manage this task.
"The scale and challenge of this operation means that some disruption is inevitable. We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring everyone home."
A warning to customers seen at Gatwick Airport (Reuters)
Customers affected by the company's collapse have been urged to check a dedicated website monarch.caa.co.uk for advice and information on flights back to the UK.
It also gives information to those passengers that have future bookings with Monarch but are yet to leave the UK.
The CAA said all Monarch customers who are abroad and due to return to the UK in the next two weeks will be flown home.
An airport staff member directs passengers to a gate after Britain's Monarch Airlines announced the cancellation of its flights at Gatwick Airport (Reuters)
The flights will be at no extra cost to passengers and they do not need to cut short their stay, the regulator said.
The Government has warned passengers to expect disruption and delay as it works to ensure there are enough flights to return the "huge number" of passengers.
Commenting on the "extraordinary operation", Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "This is a hugely distressing situation for British holidaymakers abroad - and my first priority is to help them get back to the UK.
A message on Monarch's website this morning telling customers the company had gone under
"That is why I have immediately ordered the country's biggest ever peacetime repatriation to fly about 110,000 passengers who could otherwise have been left stranded abroad.
"This is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented situation. Together with the Civil Aviation Authority, we will work around the clock to ensure Monarch passengers get the support they need.
"Nobody should underestimate the size of the challenge, so I ask passengers to be patient and act on the advice given by the CAA."
Turns out Britain is £490 billion poorer than everyone thought (surprise surprise)
The Office for National Statistics has revised its figures and a quarter of GDP has disappeared
08:56, 16 OCT 2017Updated09:33, 16 OCT 2017
Britain is £490 billion poorer than everyone thought.
The Office for National Statistics has revised its assessment of the country's accounts, and decided Britain has overestimated its international assets.
And we owe far more to foreign investors than previously thought.
Overall it amounts a quarter of the UK's Gross Domestic Product.
It comes just six weeks ahead of Philip Hammond's first Autumn budget - and Treasury officials are reportedly braced for "gloomy" forecasts.
When is the Autumn Budget 2017? Predictions and rumours for Philip Hammond's big financial statement
The ONS says the UK's stock of wealth - much of which is in international investments - has collapsed from a surplus of £469 billion to a net deficit of £22 billion.
"Half a trillion pounds has gone missing," Mark Capleton, the UK rates strategist at Bank of America told the Telegraph.
The mind-boggling shrinkage of Britain's wealth leaves Britain with no reserve of foreign assets to help protect against Brexit.
It comes as the Chancellor is under increasing pressure to demonstrate how the country would deal with the increasingly likely prospect of a 'no-deal' Brexit.
It's thought crashing out of the EU without a deal could cause GDP to retract by a further 7.8% - and it would be increasingly difficult for the government to defend against a run on the pound.
Sainsbury's plans to cut 2,000 UK jobs in payroll and HR
The UK's second-largest supermarket chain follows rivals in announcing a shake-up of its office functions in a bid to save money.
Tuesday 17 October 2017
Sainsbury's has unveiled plans to cut up to 2,000 UK jobs as part of its programme to save hundreds of millions of pounds in costs.
The UK's second-largest supermarket chain said it was consulting on a series of measures that would mainly affect human resources and payroll staff - freeing up cash for the continuing price war with rivals.
The FTSE 100 company wants to remove all HR and payroll clerk roles from in-store completely - hitting around 1,400 people.
It said 600 further roles were under threat from a restructuring that would consolidate HR and other support roles across its grocery chain, Argos and Sainsbury's Bank.
A spokesman said: "The UK grocery market is changing at a rapid pace and it's crucial that we transform the way we operate to meet future challenges and continue to provide customers with best in class service.