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M&S reviews vacant head office roles

Marks & Spencer is reviewing head office jobs as they become vacant to determine whether they are “essential” to the business.

Any positions deemed not to be strategically necessary could be cut, with responsibilities shared among existing head office staff.

The process, which was adopted in the last couple of weeks, does not affect stores or M&S’ graduate intake as well as training programmes such as its Princes Trust partnership for young people. It follows news earlier this month of 180 redundancies being made across a handful of M&S’ Irish stores.

An M&S spokeswoman told Drapers it was not a recruitment freeze, adding that the “majority” of staffing will continue “as normal”.

“However, we are reviewing head office vacancies on an individual basis to determine those that are essential to the delivery of our strategic plans,” she added.  “We believe this is a practical and efficient approach that ensures all hires are aligned with our long term plans.”

The spokeswoman also noted that the company had built its team in the last two-to-three years, but denied that this move was in reaction to an oversupply of staff.

M&S’ most recent results, for the 13 weeks to June 29, showed a 0.5% rise in sales of general merchandise. However the business has lost market share following seven successive quarters of declines.

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