Selfridges has told staff it plans to cut 450 jobs as it warned annual sales are expected to be “significantly less” than last year due to the pandemic.
The retailer said it will reduce its total headcount by 14% to cope with the impact of coronavirus and subsequent lockdown.
In an email to Selfridges staff, Group Managing Director Anne Pitcher 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.”
The move from the retailer follows weeks of uncertainty on the high street, with retailers taking a battering from reduced footfall.
Harrods CEO Michael Ward confirmed that “due to the ongoing impacts of this pandemic, we as a business will need to make reductions to our workforce“.