Selfridges Oxford Street Corner Shot Oxford Street & Duke Street (1b) Photo Credit Andrew Meredith_WEB

Source: Selfridges

Its group MD said 2020 was set to be Selfridges’ ’toughest year’

Selfridges is making 14% of its workforce redundant in the latest blow to the high street in the wake of Covid-19.

The luxury retailer will make around 450 staff redundant in what group MD Anne Pitcher called the “toughest decision” it had ever had to make.

In a letter to employees, Pitcher said 2020 looked set to be Selfridges’ “toughest year”, adding that its annual sales were due to be “significantly less” than 2019.

Pitcher said the “speed and magnitude” of the coronavirus crisis had led Selfridges to make fundamental adaptations to the way it operated. “The pandemic has forced change and caused us to rethink so many aspects of our lives, and will continue to do so as we adapt and respond to a new and evolving reality.”

The retailer has begun a consultation period with staff, inviting those who wish to be considered for voluntary redundancy to come forward. Other options could include reducing working hours or taking sabbatical leave.

Pitcher’s letter also said that where staff were currently on furlough leave, it would not impact whether they would be made redundant. She promised employees would receive more information tomorrow (29 July).

The move follows 4,000 job cuts at Boots, up to 1,300 at John Lewis, 700 at Harrods and 100 at Fortnum & Mason, all announced earlier this month.