Business

River Island to cut 350 jobs in management shake-up

River Island has 15 stores spread across Ulster.

RIVER Island is to cut 350 jobs as part of a major store management shake-up.

The high street fashion retailer has 15 stores across the province of Ulster.

It told staff it intends to slash store management and senior sales roles as part of a restructure of its retail team.

The move comes just a month after it had already said it would cut 250 head office staff as part of cost-cutting measures.

River Island is the latest major retailer to cut its workforce. Debenhams this week said it will cut another 2,500 jobs, while New Look is seeking to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to slash costs.

The list of retail redundancies continues to soar as retailers reel from the economic impact of Covid-19.

DW Sports, Easons, WH Smith, Pizza Express, M&Co, Currys PC World, Marks and Spencer, Boots, Burger King and Hays Travel are among the well known high street groups to announce cuts in recent weeks.

River Island has seen revenues and profitability hit by a slump in store footfall after reopening sites following the coronavirus lockdown.

Chief executive Will Kernan told staff in an internal memo that the changes will create a "flatter management structure with a greater emphasis on customer service".

He said: "We need to make sure we have the right structures in place to deliver our omnichannel strategy, and to continue to deliver the amazing River Island in-store experience that our customers know and love.

"With a heavy heart, I can confirm that these changes will potentially impact up to 350 store management and senior sales roles.

"Whilst this is an incredibly difficult decision, these actions are crucial to ensure that our stores continue to effectively play their hugely important role in our omnichannel future."

River Island has around 300 stores across the UK and has reportedly eyed a CVA or other form of insolvency to reduce its rent costs in a bid to save money.

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