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February 1, 2019

Shop Direct mulls job cuts

Retailer Shop Direct is considering a number of redundancies after entering a period of consultation with Usdaw, its recognised trade union.

By Beth Wright

Retailer Shop Direct is considering a number of redundancies after entering a period of consultation with Usdaw, its recognised trade union.

The operator of the Very and Littlewoods businesses said in a statement the consultation will continue for a minimum of 45 days, with some redundancies anticipated.

During the period, Shop Direct says it will work through proposals to create new and merge some existing roles within its four key product categories – fashion, home, electrical and developing categories – as well as in retail planning and operations, and marketing. The proposed changes will enable Shop Direct to enhance its customer proposition, attract more target customers, drive continued category growth and digital innovation, and provide clearer career paths for its people, the retailer says.

The proposals build on changes made in September 2018, when Shop Direct introduced the role of category director across its product categories, consolidated all marketing activity under the new position of chief marketing officer and created a retail planning and operations team to bring together trade planning and execution. In July 2018, the etailer merged its product and retail teams for the first time under the leadership of one executive board director, group retail director Sam Perkins

“We are performing strongly in a hugely competitive and challenging retail market, as evidenced over Christmas when we increased group revenue by 3.7%,” Perkins says.

“But as is true of all businesses, we must constantly improve the experience we offer customers to remain competitive. Continuing to innovate, realigning the way we work, enhancing our capability and simplifying our business will remain key to achieving that.

“This type of change is never easy but is a reality of doing business in today’s dynamic retail world. For our impacted colleagues, our commitment is that we’ll work through this process openly and transparently and with empathy and respect.”

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