Jones Bootmaker is to make 75% of its head office staff redundant after merging its back-office functions with out-of-town footwear retailer Brantano.
The move follows last year’s acquisition of Jones Bootmaker by Dutch retail conglomerate Macintosh, Brantano UK’s parent company, for an estimated £40m.
The roles affected by the merger include 60 jobs in Jones Bootmaker’s warehouse and finance departments at its head office in Eastbourne. This represents 3% of Jones Bootmaker’s total headcount, but three-quarters of head office staff.
The functions will be merged with the warehouse and finance teams at Brantano’s head office in Coalville, Leicestershire. According to Andrew White, managing director of Jones Bootmaker, the move will lead to “improved operational efficiency” for both businesses.
“Macintosh plans to keep Jones Bootmaker and Brantano UK as two completely separate commercial businesses,” he said.
“We are two very different businesses with two very different personalities so the customer-facing and product-related side will be kept separate. It makes good business sense to merge some of the back-office functions.”
Jones Bootmaker will continue to operate out of its head office in Eastbourne and will retain its London buying office above its store on Chelsea’s King’s Road.
White added that some of the staff facing redundancy would be redeployed in other roles at the Eastbourne office.
“There is potential for some of our senior warehouse staff to take roles in Leicestershire but it’s unlikely that most people will want to relocate,” he said.
Consultations have been underway since Macintosh took over in April last year. A separate consultation period will begin when an exact timescale has been given for the move – believed to be in the early part of next year.
As part of the merger, Brantano will increase the size of its warehouse in Leicestershire by about 25% to house Jones Bootmaker’s stock. Work is already underway on the extension.
“The plan is to have all of our spring/summer stock in the new warehouse from mid-January,” said White.
Jobs at Brantano will not be affected. No industrial action is expected as a result of the redundancies.