Clarks to cut 900 office jobs in shake-up
Shoe chain Clarks will cut 900 office jobs worldwide as it tries to position itself for a post virus future. The 195-year-old firm said it had to make “some difficult decisions” to re-energise the business, which has seen sales fall over the past year.
The jobs will go over the next 18 months, said Clarks, adding that it was part of a wider plan to turn around the firm which will create 200 new jobs. The firm, which cut 170 jobs last year, employs 13,000 people globally.
“There are exciting opportunities ahead for our business, and we are having to make some difficult decisions to get there,” said chief executive Giorgio Presca.
“We thank all affected staff for their contribution to our business and they leave their roles with our heartfelt respect and support.”
Clarks shut all of its stores in the UK and Ireland during the coronavirus lockdown, and said it will only reopen them “when it is right and safe to do so”.
It has already opened stores in countries including China as restrictions have been lifted, it added.
The firm is consulting with its advisers on funding options for the future, it said, without giving further details.
The company posted a £84.4m loss last year as sales dropped.
It sold 20 million pairs of shoes in the year to February 2019, two million fewer than the year before, citing “extremely tough” conditions on the high street.
It also said it will close some of its worst-performing stores. Last year it closed its only remaining UK factory after it failed to hit its targets for making desert boots. The factory opened in 2017.
The company started making shoes in the UK in 1825 but production was moved to the Far East in 2005. Prior to that, the last remaining Clarks plant in the UK – Millom in Cumbria – closed in 2006.