Jobs at risk as Johnsons reveals plans to shut more than 100 dry cleaning outlets

Catherine Neilan
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Johnsons: 109 branches to be closed (Source: Google Street View)
A third of Johnsons Dry Cleaners branches are to be shut within the next six months, putting up to 450 jobs at risk.
The business, which also operates a larger textile rental arm, said its dry cleaning division had not manage to maintain performance in 2014 and that 109 branches whose leases were up for review in the next two years were deemed to be no longer financially viable.
Each branch employs four or five people, putting the number of jobs at risk at around 450.
“We are commencing a consultation exercise with affected employees and anticipate that branches will close during the first half of the year,” the company said in a statement.
“The remaining 198 better-performing premium branches are in more convenient locations with an infrastructure capable of receiving dry cleaning from various collection and delivery points.”
The business is also building its relationship with premium supermarket Waitrose, with whom it has 78 partnerships in place with currently. It plans to open in a further 46 locations in the first quarter of this year.
“We have also established collection and delivery points in office premises with a high concentration of staff, thereby increasing convenience to customers. In addition, for higher value or bulky items, we will be launching a new online home collection and delivery service from mid 2015,” Johnsons said.
The total cost of restructuring the business is expected to be around £6.5m.
Despite the bad news for Johnsons employees, overall group results for the 2014 calendar year are expected to be slightly ahead of expectations and “significantly” ahead of 2013, following the acquisition of hotel linen provider Bourne Services Group in March for £22m.
“This acquisition was a key part of our strategy to expand into the volume hotel linen market and was immediately earnings enhancing,” Johnson said.
Full results will be released on March 3.

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