Thursday 17 October 2019

Marks and Spencer seeking 97 redundancies across Republic of Ireland

Marks and Spencer. (stock photo)
Marks and Spencer. (stock photo)

Anne-Marie Walsh

MARKS and Spencer is seeking 97 redundancies across seven stores in the Republic.

A spokesperson for the high street chain said it has started talks with the main retail union Mandate on a voluntary redundancy proposal.

The seven stores where an exit package is being offered are Liffey Valley, Dundrum, Mary Street, Grafton Street, Blackrock, Blanchardstown in Dublin and Patrick Street in Cork.

“This is a purely voluntary proposal and all affected colleagues will have the option to stay at M and S,” said the spokesperson.

She said the decision was not linked to the roll out of fast service checkout tills at its two stores in Dublin city centre in recent months.

The Irish store flagged difficulties at its Irish business last year after revealing that sales across the retail group fell due to poor demand for clothing and food.

It described trading in the Republic where it has 18 outlets as difficult.

The chain is experiencing similar problems to the UK where it faces stiff competition from the high street and online shopping market.

“As part of our ongoing transformation we keep our retail operations under continual review,” said the spokesperson.

“As a result, we have offered a small number, 97 colleagues, the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy across seven of our largest stores in the Republic of Ireland.”

She said the UK retailer is committed to working with the main retail union, Mandate. She said all staff who are part of the consultation process will have the option to stay at M and S.

In January, it emerged that over 1,000 jobs were at risk at Marks and Spencer after it announced a round of store closures as part of a transformation plan.

It released a list of 17 stores to be shut down but none of the chain’s outlets in the Republic were affected.

Marks and Spencer warned of a bleak outlook for sales growth following a drop in half year revenue last year, despite a slight rise in profits.

Revenue dropped by 3pc to €5.7bn, reflecting declining sales in food and clothing and home divisions.

Full year profit before tax fell 62pc to £66.8m in 2017 from £176m the year before.

The company is 40 years trading in Ireland this year, after opening its first store in Mary Street in Dublin in 1979.

Online Editors

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