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17,000 fashion jobs facing axe

About 17,000 fashion retail jobs could be axed because of cost pressures, according to a report by analyst Plimsoll.

Plimsoll looked at the prospects and possible strategies that could be employed at 1,000 leading companies.

As many as three-quarters of firms analysed needed to cut jobs, according to Plimsoll, and companies needed to aim for at least £62,000 of sales per employee in order to stay competitive. Up to 16,859 jobs could go as companies seek to get costs in line with sales.

Plimsoll also rated 296 of the companies surveyed as “in danger” and said they needed to consolidate immediately to survive. Plimsoll said that up to 30% of the workforce in this category was under threat.

Some 299 companies needed to “tweak” their business, while 405 companies were leading the market with sales per employee running at well over £112,000.

Plimsoll senior analyst David Pattison said that the 296 “in danger” companies needed to act now in order to survive.

“It is very important they review their entire business cost base and take action now to significantly reduce their outgoings.

"While job losses are undoubtedly bad news for any company, such decisive action may be called for to guarantee the ultimate survival of the business – even if this means the business is 30% or 50% smaller than it was.”

To order a copy of the Plimsoll report, which names the retailers and gives full details of their financial performance, email c.sherwood@plimsoll.co. uk or telephone 01642 626422. The report costs £350.

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