Steve Rowe M&S_0001

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Marks & Spencer will announce hundreds of job cuts this week, after struggling to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Sky News, the retailer will start announcing redundancy plans within days, following other prominent high street names such as John Lewis, Boots and Debenhams. 

Sources told Sky News that “several thousands” of jobs were expected to be cut, as CEO Steve Rowe accelerated the restructuring of the business in the coming months as part of its “never the same again” plan.

The redundancies will come although M&S took advantage of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, furloughing 27k employees of its 78k staff force - most of whom have now returned to work.

The retailer has also not indicated whether it will reject the chancellor’s recent offer of a £1,000 bonus for every furloughed employee who resumes working.

Announcing annual results in May, Rowe said: “Whilst some customer habits will return to normal others have changed forever, the trend towards digital has been accelerated, and changes to the shape of the high street brought forward.

“Most importantly working habits have been transformed and we have discovered we can work in a faster, leaner, more effective way. I am determined to act now to capture this and deliver a renewed, more agile business in a world that will never be the same again.”

Morning update

The FTSE 100 started the week in the red, falling 0.2% to 6,277.89pts.

Early risers included Coca Cola European Parteners up 4% at €35.63, Pz Cussons up 3.8% at 196.26p and PayPoint up 3.6% at 575.08p.

Fallers saw Bakkavor open down 2.9% at 67.29p, McBride down 2.3% at 59.58p and WH Smith down 1.4% at 6 1,007,60p.

This week in the City

Interim earnings season kicks off this week, with Coca-Cola, Philip Morris posting half year results tomorrow and Remy Cointreau posting a sales update.

Britvic will release its third quarter results on Wednesday, while Nichols will post its half year results.

On Thursday Unilever is due to announce its first half financial results, along with Tate & Lyle Q1s, while Kimberley Clark and Hershey will post half year results in the US.

On the same day, Tate & Lyle and C&C Group will host their annual general meetings.

In retail news, the monthly market share figures are out tomorrow.