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Jobs axed as Moss Bros cuts costs in downturn

Moss Bros will have made 20% of its head office staff redundant by the end of year as the retailer looks to cut costs to beat the economic downturn.

The menswear business, which issued a profit warning this week, is in consultation with staff about job cuts across all functions at its head office.

Chief executive Philip Mountford said some staff had already left and the remainder would have left by the end of the year.

He said: “Some people have left in the past few weeks and some will go in the next couple of weeks. We’re looking at trimming down costs, reducing stock and getting stock into the distribution centre faster.”

Moss Bros’s sales were down 3.6% on a like-for-like basis for the 44 weeks ended November 29. Total sales fell 3.7%.

For the first 18 weeks of the second half, like-for-like sales dropped by 5.2%. Moss Bros warned that the tough climate was likely to impact on the year’s trading expectations.
“The past five or six weeks have been difficult but we’re still performing better than a lot of people,” said Mountford.

Last week, Simon Berwin, owner of supplier Berwin & Berwin, and a consortium bought Sir Philip Green’s 28% stake in Moss Bros. The consortium now holds a 29.9% share of Moss Bros.

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