Retail giant Marks & Spencer has said it plans to cut around 7000 jobs over the next three months across stores, regional management and its support centre.

It plans to reduce the number of roles at the retail chain’s central support centre, in its regional management and UK stores over the next three months.

During lockdown, the company said it has learnt to work more flexibly, using the same staff to work in both the food aisles and the clothing section of the stores. New Microsoft technology will also allow it to reduce layers of management, M&S said.

“We expect a significant proportion will be through voluntary departures and early retirement. In line with our longstanding value of treating our people well, we will now begin an extensive programme of communication with colleagues,” M&S said.

It also expects to create “a number” of new jobs as M&S invests in its online capacity.

Chief executive Steve Rowe said: “In May we outlined our plans to learn from the crisis, accelerate our transformation and deliver a stronger, more agile business in a world in which some customer habits were changed forever.

“These proposals are an important step in becoming a leaner, faster business set up to serve changing customer needs and we are committed to supporting colleagues through this time.”

Sources from online news journal