351 M&S manager jobs to be axed just days after AGM warnings

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Marks & Spencer is planning to axe over 300 jobs across the country as it continues to streamline its operations following reports of falling revenues.

According to documents seen by the Guardian, the retailer is proposing 351 job cuts across a range of roles, including 182 section managers, 115 operations managers and 54 visual managers.

It said rising management costs and a 7.5 per cent drop in sales in the last two years had “contributed to reducing store profitability, impacting on our ability to trade our existing stores and open future stores viably”.

A spokeswoman added: “M&S is transforming and this is a tough but necessary decision to take to ensure our stores support the future of the business and provide the best service for our customers.”

This comes less than a week after its AGM in which chairman Archie Norman and chief executive Steve Rowe hinted there could be even more store closures as it powers on with its radical turnaround scheme.

Norman said the size of the M&S store portfolio had become a “drag” on its performance and that “this business is on a burning platform” while refusing to rule out if the store closure acceleration announced in May would be the last.

Meanwhile, Rowe said “there are likely to be more redundancies” as a result of plans to cut costs by £350 million by 2021.

In May it announced that it planned to close 100 stores by 2022, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

Rowe stressed that 86 per cent of the staff working in the stores closed so far have been successfully relocated within the business.

A further 450 jobs were placed in danger in April, after the M&S announced plans distribution centre in Hardwick Grange near Warrington.

M&S recorded a 62.1 per cent plunge in pre-tax profit to £66.8 million in the year to March 31, primarily due to £321.1 million in costs linked to store closures.

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