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Waitrose plans 678 job cuts as five stores face closure

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Matt Atherton

By Matt Atherton+

13-Feb-2017
Last updated on 13-Feb-2017 at 11:13 GMT2017-02-13T11:13:40Z

Almost 700 Waitrose staff face losing their jobs
Almost 700 Waitrose staff face losing their jobs

Waitrose plans to cut almost 700 jobs, after revealing plans to close five of its stores and restructure its management.

Stores in Hertford, Staines, Leek, Huntingdon and Cardiff were all under-performing, Waitrose said. The supermarket’s planned store closures meant 498 staff face job cuts, while 180 department managers will be cut by 2020, it added.

However, the supermarket planned to open eight new stores this year – two of which have already opened. The stores would create 600 jobs, Waitrose claimed.

‘Review our shops’ performance’

Waitrose retail director Ben Stimson said: “Whilst closing branches is always something we’d want to avoid, like any retail business we review our shops’ performance regularly and take action where needed.

Waitrose stores planned to close
  • Hertford – Bircherley Green Shopping Centre
  • Staines – Two Rivers Shopping Centre
  • Leek – Portland Street
  • Huntingdon – St Benedict’s Court
  • Cardiff – Queen Street

“We will be consulting with our branch partners over the coming weeks on these proposed closures, and will make sure they have all the support they need.”

‘Transition’

A Waitrose spokesman said: “We are proposing that, over the next three years, our department managers will transition to the new role of deputy branch manager.

“We currently have 486 department managers [UK-wide] and gradually between now and 2020 we expect this number to reduce by around 180.”

Meanwhile, Waitrose’s sales increased 3.4% in the 12 weeks to January 29 2017, compared with the same period last year, Kantar Worldpanel revealed this week . It gained 0.1% market share over the period, up to 5.3%.

 

Waitrose planned job cuts – at a glance
  • 678 jobs at risk in total
  • 498 staff from stores closing
  • 180 department managers

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