John Lewis cuts 387 jobs in staff overhaul

Posted February 25, 2017

United Kingdom retailer John Lewis announced on Thursday that it will be cutting 387 jobs in an effort to 'improve the customer experience, resulting in a more efficient way of operating'. The move could lead to almost 400 fewer jobs for staff in the company's carpet, curtain and blinds fittings service, as well as home estimating and fitting administration support and catering.

The retailer said it was consulting with 773 people about redundancy as it attempts to cut costs and become more efficient.

The changes will affect administration staff in its carpet, curtain and blinds fittings service.

Earlier this month it was revealed that 500 jobs at Waitrose, which is also owned by the partnership, were in jeopardy as the grocer planned cut an entire level of management as well as close five of stores.

It is also proposing to create a single central customer administration hub to manage these customer orders which will replace the current individual branch administration teams.

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The retailer said it would offer workers alternative roles, but the majority of those affected by the changes are expected to leave. "We understand that for some this will mean a period of change, and we are working with affected partners over the consultation period to give opportunities for redeployment in new roles wherever possible".

John Lewis operations director, Dino Rocos, said its decision was a response to the changing needs of customers amid "a backdrop of structural changes in the retail industry". This model uses a centrally created menu which requires less on-site preparation.

In January the company said that the bonus which it pays annually to its staff was likely to be "significantly lower" this year, as it needed to invest heavily in its online business after 40 percent of total sales came from the internet over Christmas.

The staff-owned John Lewis Partnership, which includes Waitrose, said last month it expected staff bonuses to be "significantly lower" than a year ago because of the challenging outlook for retail.