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Tesco swings axe on F&F franchise team

Tesco has made redundancies in clothing brand F&F’s franchise team, Drapers has learned.

Marcus Chipchase, managing director for F&F international partnerships, and David Bellerby, the brand’s head of franchise operations, are understood to be among those affected.

Chipchase has worked at Tesco for almost 10 years. He joined in 2008 as managing director of department stores before moving to F&F’s international partnerships in 2012.

Bellerby joined the retailer in 2006 as a project manager for clothing and worked his way up through a series of roles including head of store operations – click-and-collect. He became head of franchise operations for F&F in April 2015.

The first F&F franchise store opened in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in May 2012. It now has 145 franchise stores in 17 markets, including the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and the Philippines.

A spokesman for Tesco insisted that franchise “remains an important area of focus for F&F”.

However, he confirmed that some redundancies are being made in the team as part of Tesco’s recently announced cost-cutting drive. 

On 28 June, the supermarket chain revealed plans to slash 1,200 jobs across its head offices in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, the Birmingham head office of Tesco’s One Stop convenience store chain, and a technology and retail support centre in Bangalore, India.

It came on top of previously announced plans to cull 1,100 roles at its call centre in Cardiff.

The spokesman said: “Last month we shared with colleagues across Tesco changes that we plan to make to the way we operate our business. This is a significant next step to continue the turnaround of the business.

“The new service model will simplify the way we organise ourselves, reduce duplication and cost but also, very importantly, allow us to invest in serving shoppers better. We have made good progress so far in our turnaround, but we have more to do. We will work with colleagues to support them as we go through this important transition.”

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