Belfast Telegraph

John Lewis to axe 387 jobs amid 'structural change'

By Ben Woods

Department store John Lewis is shedding nearly 400 jobs across its restaurants and home fittings service as it grapples with the pressures facing the retail sector.

The chain said 387 jobs would be lost as it shifts home fittings administration roles to a central hub in Manchester and outsources food preparation for its The Place To Eat restaurants.

Around 773 staff have now entered redundancy consultation and have been given the opportunity to apply for 386 new roles.

Earlier this month it emerged that the company's managing director Paula Nickolds could visit Northern Ireland.

The move is part of a new push to attract the UK retail giant to Sprucefield.

The job loss announcement comes after the high street bellwether said last month that it expects its renowned staff bonus to be "significantly lower'' than last year in the face of a challenging market outlook.

Dino Rocos, John Lewis operations director, said the move would adapt the business to the changing needs of customers amid "a backdrop of structural changes in the retail industry".

"Our partners are passionate about offering the very best customer service and these proposals will allow us to modernise our business as it adapts to the changing needs of our customers and the role that shops play in their lives," he said.

"We understand that for some this will mean a period of change, and we are working with affected partners over the consultation period to give opportunities for redeployment in new roles wherever possible."

John Lewis has said the changes would impact 32 of its 48 stores across the country, with the consultation on jobs expecting to last a period of a few months.

Belfast Telegraph