// River Island to cut 250 roles from its head office
// The move aims to reduce costs after the retailer was affected by falling sales and a plunging footfall
// Affected staff were informed this morning
River Island is reportedly about to make 250 head office staff redundant as a cost-cutting measure after the coronavirus pandemic triggered a fall in sales and footfall.
According to reports in Retail Week and Drapers, River Island chief executive Will Kernan wrote to staff to inform them that the fashion retailer now has “a requirement for some 250 fewer people in the business”.
The job cuts are expected to be made across River Island’s head office departments and affected staff were reportedly informed this morning.
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Staff across its 300 stores will not be affected by this round of job cuts.
“Covid-19 is the most significant challenge in a generation,” Kernan wrote in his letter to staff.
“The pandemic will change our marketplace for years to come, so we have acted quickly to reassess our structure, affordability and strategy.
“As a business we need to be more flexible and, critically, we must remain financially viable despite the potential of significantly reduced sales in the short term.
“Sadly, I have to confirm that, as a result of the work undertaken, we now have a requirement for some 250 fewer people in the business as we re-establish.”
River Island is not the only fashion retailer to have been adversely impacted by the pandemic and subsequent closure of its stores during the lockdown period.
It only re-opened its online store in mid-April, while most if its staff were put on the government’s furlough scheme and the business negotiated rental agreements with landlords, froze recruitment and introduced temporary pay reductions.