Boots to cut more than 4,000 jobs

11 Juillet, 2020, 12:45 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • John Lewis to close Birmingham department store

It comes after sales plummeted by 48 per cent over the past three months in the face of the pandemic, despite Boots keeping swathes of its stores open to customers.

Boots will sack more than 4,000 employees - about 7pc of its workforce - and close nearly 50 Opticians stores in response to a dramatic decline in footfall following the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite Boris Johnson's pledge of creating "jobs, jobs, jobs" to lift the United Kingdom economy out of the coronavirus slump, the last few months have seen multiple companies announcing thousands of layoffs as the pandemic either forced them into conservation mode or exacerbated existing problems in their businesses.

It said department stores in Birmingham and Watford will be affected, along with four At Home stores in Croydon, Newbury, Swindon and Tamworth, and travel sites in Heathrow and St Pancras.

The announcement has come after the company revealed that their sales decreased 48 per cent for Boots UK and 72 per cent for Boots Opticians in the third quarter of the year, against last year. A further 2,000 are at risk at Poundstretcher, which has said it could close half its estate if landlords do not agree to rent cuts.

The owner of a major conference venue in Wales, The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, also announced plans to make 450 of its 995 permanent workers redundant on Thursday.

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More than 100 larger stores in city centres, stations and airports were closed, as were most Boots Opticians practices during lockdown.

Boots said that the cuts represent an "acceleration" of its transformation plans to improve profitably across the business. "Before the virus struck, 40% of John Lewis sales were online".

John Lewis said the eight shops facing closure were already "financially challenged" before the coronavirus crisis but matters had worsened during the pandemic.

Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: "Closing a shop is always incredibly hard and today's announcement will come as very sad news to customers and partners".

If redundancies are confirmed, "every effort would be made to find new roles where possible for Partners who wish to remain within the Partnership", with potential opportunities at local Waitrose shops or working for and



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