Sport Loss-making shoe seller Clarks to axe 900 office jobs but no permanent store closures announced and 200 new roles will be opened up
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Struggling Somerset based footwear firm Clarks has said that about 900 employees will lose their jobs over the next 18 months, but did not mention whether it would shut any of its shops for good.
Clarks revealed today that more than 100 staff at the company's headquarters in the village of Street would be dismissed, along with about another 50 of its global workforce.
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The British retailer, which is five years off celebrating its 200th anniversary, said the redundancies are part of its 'Made To Last' turnaround strategy and will enable the firm to have 'a sustainable and successful future.'
It said the move on jobs is intended to help the company operate in a 'lean, effective and quick manner.' The layoffs will be partially mitigated by the creation of 200 new roles at the business.
No mention of any store closures was made by Clarks despite the considerable financial losses that it has recently made.
In its latest full-year results covering the year to early February 2019, the group registered an £82.9million post-tax loss on the back of sales dropping 4.5 per cent.
The company blamed the loss on 'specific weather events and poor product execution,' whilst its chairman Thomas O'Neill declared that a 'climate of uncertainty' had hurt its sales.
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Finance chief Paul Kenyon said in response to the figures that a 'meaningful' number of Clarks' establishments would cease operations in the coming five years.
Later in the year, Clarks proclaimed that 170 employees would be let go, including 80 at its Street base. This was the first round of job losses to happen under the leadership of CEO Giorgio Presca.
In response to the news on job cuts, Presca remarked: 'There are exciting opportunities ahead for our business, and we are having to make some difficult decisions to get there.
'We thank all affected staff for their contribution to our business, and they leave their roles with our heartfelt respect and support.'
He added that the business would focus on three specific parts of its brand portfolio – Clarks Originals, Clarks Collection and Cloudsteppers by Clarks.
He said: '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.'
'We are a business that walks its own path, and we are evolving to put our brand and consumers at the heart of everything we do.
'This will ensure that our organisation is made to last, empowering our people to contribute to a great future for the company.'
Clarks operates about 1,400 stores in 75 countries, with around 500 in the UK alone.
Many of these shops were closed following the outbreak of the coronavirus, but some have now begun to reopen their doors in China and Europe.
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