Selfridges Cuts 14% of Workforce as U.K. Department Stores Reel

Selfridges is cutting 14% of its workforce as U.K. retailers struggle to emerge from pandemic-induced shutdowns.

The owner of the iconic department store on Oxford Street in London said it needs to make a 14% net reduction in its overall headcount, which amounts to around 450 roles, according to a note sent to staff.

“Over recent months we have been through so much together. None of us have experienced anything quite like it and, sadly, the challenges ahead remain very real,” Managing Director Anne Pitcher wrote.

The department store will start a period of consultation with staff, and will offer “flexible options” including “permanently adjusting working hours,” taking a sabbatical, a career break or leaving with a voluntary redundancy package.

“The recovery will be slow, with sales this year forecast to be significantly less than they were in 2019,” Pitcher said. “It will, without doubt, be the toughest year we have experienced in our recent history.”

Selfridges joins the luxury department store Harrods, which announced as much as a 14% cut to its workforce earlier this month.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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