Luxury department stores group to axe 450 jobs

Selfridges in Exchange Square

Jobs at luxury department store Selfridges’ two Manchester sites are at risk after the business said it will have to make 450 redundancies.

The retailer has four sites: Exchange Square and the Trafford Centre in Manchester, its famous London store, and in Birmingham.

Managing director Anne Pitcher informed staff by email today of the cuts, and said she will update them further tomorrow.

The redundancies represent around 14% of the retailer’s total headcount.

Ms Pitcher blamed the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown on the “toughest decision” the business has had to make.

However, she reassured staff who are on furlough that the fact they were not working will not affect their chances of being made redundant.

In her email to staff, she said: “How we work, shop and socialise is changing.

“Of course, our high streets were changing rapidly before COVID-19 arrived.

“As a creative business at the forefront of retail, we have a proud history of leading the way, however the speed and magnitude of what is happening right now and the impact on trading means we must make some more fundamental changes to our organisation to stay ahead and realise a more sustainable future.

“Like many others, we are feeling the effects and acknowledge that recovery will be slow, with sales this year forecast to be significantly less than they were in 2019.

“It will, without doubt, be the toughest year we have experienced in our recent history.

“As a family business, the hardest decisions are the ones that affect our people, which is why it pains me to share news today of the toughest decision we have ever had to take that we will, very regrettably, need to make a 14% net reduction in our overall headcount, approximately 450 roles.”