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Clarks to slash 900 jobs in major shake-up to revitalise business

Tom Bottomley
21 May 2020

Heritage British shoe brand Clarks has announced today that it is preparing to cut 900 corporate office jobs and is in talks with advisers over funding options during the coronavirus crisis.

Clarks, which was founded by brothers Cyrus and James Clark in Street, Somerset, in 1825, announced 160 redundancies today, including 108 at its Somerset HQ, and around 700 workers are expected to leave the company over the next 18 months.

The retailer said it would reduce its global workforce by 900 roles in total, though that will be partially offset by the creation of 200 new jobs.

According to the report, Clarks CEO, Giorgio Presca, said: “There are exciting opportunities ahead for our business, and we are having to make some difficult decisions to get there. 

“We thank all affected staff for their contribution to our business and they leave their roles with our heartfelt respect and support.”

Presca added that the business would focus on three specific parts of its brand portfolio – Clarks Originals, Clarks Collection and Cloudsteppers by Clarks.

He said: “This is helping us move fast to get ahead of the changes in the ways that our consumers live their lives, so that we are there for them every step of the way.”

We are a business that walks its own path, and we are evolving to put our brand and consumers at the heart of everything we do.

“This will ensure that our organisation is made to last, empowering our people to contribute to a great future for the company.”

Clarks also said it was “reviewing funding options with selected advisers” to address the short-term liquidity needs caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Today’s announcement comes after 170 jobs were cut towards the end of 2019 as part of Clarks’ “made to last” turnaround strategy, to ensure the heritage British retailer has a sustainable future.

At the time the company said it would “review its stores in line with changing consumer needs.”

No store closures have been announced today. The company said it would focus on “expanding the use of digital and social channels to connect with consumers.”

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