Redundancies loom as Shop Direct reviews 225 HQ staff roles

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Shop Direct redundancies
// Shop Direct’s 225 head office staff to enter consultation
// Expected to lead to some redundancies – reports indicate fewer than 100
// Latest review forms part of online retailer’s transformation plan

Shop Direct has entered into consultation with 225 head office staff members and confirmed that it anticipated some redundancies would be made.

The Liverpool-based parent company of Very and Littlewoods said the review was part of its next phase of changes to its retail team under the leadership of retail director Sam Perkins, who was appointed to the role in July last year.

The latest review comes amid Shop Direct’s plans to consolidate the men’s and women’s fashion teams while the design team will be relocated to London.

The online retailer said it would also liaise with trade union Usdaw as it works through proposals to create new and merge some existing roles within its fashion, home, electrical and developing category teams, as well as in retail planning and operations, and marketing.

The consultation will continue for a minimum of 45 days, with reports indicating that fewer than 100 redundancies would be made as a result.

The Retail Gazette has contacted Shop Direct for further comment.

However, the online retailer said the proposals builds on changes made in September 2018, when it introduced a director for each of 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.

“We are performing strongly in a hugely competitive and challenging retail market, as evidenced over Christmas when we increased group revenue by 3.7 per cent,” Shop Direct retail director Sam Perkins, said in a statement.

“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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