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Clarks to axe 900 roles

Clarks is to cut 900 jobs over the coming 18 months as it enters the next phase of its ‘Made to Last’ strategy which was introduced at the end of last year. 

The footwear retailer, which recently drafted in three of the “Big Four” auditing firms to work on a restructuring, will cut 900 corporate roles from its global workforce over the next 18 months. However, it will create around 200 new roles. 

An initial 160 redundancies were announced today including 108 at its headquarters in Street, Somerset.

The cuts are a result of a new end-to-end operating model that the 195-year-old business is introducing to deliver the next phase of its strategy in “a lean, effective and quick manner”. 

Clarks announced last month that it had drawn up plans for the permanent closure of some of its stores and drafted in bankers to review its finances. The retailer said the decision was not related to the coronavirus pandemic, but was part of “business as usual” store reviews and they would have closed anyway. It has around 347 stores across the UK. 

The business is reviewing funding options with selected advisors to address the short-term liquidity needs caused by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. 

Chief executive Giorgio Presca, who joined Clarks as chief executive in February last year, said: ”To ignite our emotional connection with consumers, we have organised Clarks’ brand portfolio across three distinct business units that each represent a unique segment of the shoe market –  Clarks Originals, Clarks, Collection and Cloudsteppers by Clarks. 

”This is helping us move fast to get ahead of the changes in the ways that our consumers live their lives, so that we are there for them every step of the way.” 

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