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White Stuff prepares to cut jobs

Lauretta Roberts
07 May 2020

White Stuff is preparing to make significant redundancies as it prepares for life in the post-COVID era, it has been reported.

According to Sky News the fashion and lifestyle brand told staff yesterday that it was entering into consolation over job cuts. The company employs 1,500 staff and operates 120 shops.

It has not been reported how many jobs are at risk but the cuts are said to have been a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit fashion retail hard.

White Stuff is making the move now to ensure it is able to keep all of its stores open once lockdown is lifted for non-essential retail (anticipated to be at some point in June) and because it expects demand to be suppressed for some time.

"We need to face into the reality, particularly given the on-going uncertainty of when and how shops might open given social distancing, that we need a leaner, more agile operating model that allows us to react to changing customer behaviour," Jo Jenkins told Sky News.

Retailers will have to implement social distancing measures once they re-open with other measures expected to be introduced such as reduced trading hours. In addition with office workers expected to be encouraged to work from home for as long as possible, and certain customers anxious to go out, town and city centres will see lower footfall for some time to come.

The COVID-19 is also expected to accelerate the shift to online retail with older consumers, who previously favoured physical stores, now becoming more and more comfortable with buying online.

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