350 redundancies to come at Pentland Brands and Boxfresh to “hibernate”

Boxfresh Pentland

Pentland Brands has pencilled around 350 redundancies as part of a global strategic review which will also see it “hibernate” its Boxfresh brand, as it concentrates on a more focused brand portfolio with a reduced licensed footwear business.

Pentland Brands has shared this with its employees and is now in consultation with its teams.

A number of planned changes to its business will aim to drive an increased emphasis on sustainability and bigger opportunities for its core brands, which are Speedo, Berghaus, Endura, Canterbury, Mitre, Ellesse, Kickers and SeaVees.

It will also invest in its technology and digital platforms, including further expansion of the Pentland Brands retail customer website, pentlandconnect.com, which enables retailers to check stock in real-time and place brand orders directly 24/7.

Andy Long, CEO of Pentland Brands, says: “While our strategic review started before the COVID-19 pandemic, we know the crisis will have a major impact on our business for, at least, the next 12-18 months. As a result, we’ve looked more deeply at the needs of the business and the fundamental and sustained changes that are required to thrive in the long-term.

“We know this is going to be a difficult time for our teams, and we’ll be incredibly sad to see some really talented people leave our business over the next few months, but our focus right now is on supporting those people impacted.”

The news is further evidence of the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the retail industry, as River Island gears to cut 250 head office jobs, Arcadia plans to make 500 head office redundancies and Harrods looks to axe as many as 700 roles.