Hundreds of HQ jobs at risk as Superdry begins consultation

Superdry job cuts
// Superdry begins consultation process with head office staff that will lead to job cuts
// Retail Gazette understands “hundreds” of jobs could be cut, but total will be less than 200
// HQ consultation first announced in December as part of Superdry’s turnaround scheme in half-year report

Superdry has officially started a consultation process that will lead to job cuts at its head office as part of a wider turnaround scheme that aims to deliver £20 million worth of cost savings.

A source close to the matter told the Retail Gazette that the consultation would lead to redundancies that could number somewhere in the hundreds, although the total count will be less than 200.

The Retail Gazette also understands that the job cuts will contribute to the £20 million worth of cost savings Superdry is aiming to achieve in its turnaround programme.

Other contributors to that £20 million total will derive from non people-related cost savings.

Superdry’s head office, based at Cheltenham, employs around 1000 people.

A spokesperson for Superdry confirmed with Retail Gazette that staff had already known about the impending consultation period since December, when the turnaround programme was revealed amid the retailer’s half-year results.

“As announced at our interim results in December, we have embarked on a cost transformation programme,” the spokesperson said.

“As part of that, we have started a process of consultation with colleagues about how it will impact our central head office functions.”

According to an email sent to Superdry staff yesterday and seen by the Evening Standard, chief executive Euan Sutherland said: “Jobs are likely to change and there will be some job losses.”

The news comes amid growing tension between Superdry’s board of directors and co-founder Julian Dunkerton, who grabbed headlines in recent months over his ambition to return to the board after stepping down in March last year.

Since late last year, Dunkerton has criticised a series of “bad decisions” from Superdry’s management team and a “lack of innovation” in its ranges amid a series of profit warnings.

Dunkerton, who still owns has a stake of more than 18 per cent in the retailer he co-founded 30 years ago, also said Superdry’s recent quarterly figures published in January were “the weakest in the company’s history, are a damning indictment of Superdry’s misguided strategy”.

Over the weekend, he urged the Superdry board to call for a general meeting and commissioned the help of Boohoo chairman Peter Williams to further his comeback ambitions.

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