Penneys owner to shift 220 jobs to Dublin
PENNEYS owner Primark is moving a host of back office jobs to Dublin from the UK.
A total of 220 people working in the company's Reading office will be offered redeployment here.
The company said the move wasn't related to Brexit.
"This decision is solely for the purposes of driving operational efficiency and is completely unrelated to any other external factors," it said.
The people affected work in the areas of buying, merchandising, design, quality and sourcing. Primark CEO Paul Marchant said: "As the Primark brand continues to expand into new markets and new product categories, it is essential we deliver an exciting and consistent product proposition to all our customers.
"Currently, our product operations are separated across two locations, Dublin and Reading. From September 2019, we will be amalgamating all our buying, merchandising, design, quality and sourcing operations to be based at our headquarters in Dublin.
"This change will ensure our business strategy and our expansion into new international markets is fully supported."
Primark is owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), which also owns brands including Twinings, Ovaltine and Ryvita.
The fashion retailer is operating in a challenged sector, with many UK peers severely hit as people do more and more shopping online.
In a trading update last month ABF said like-for-like sales at Primark were expected to be 2pc lower in the first half of its financial year, but that new store openings would drive overall sales higher.
"With a much higher margin, profit is expected to be well ahead of the same period last year," ABF said. "Early trading of the new spring/summer range has been encouraging."