High street retailer Marks and Spencer has dismissed a report that it will cut hundreds of jobs at its London head office as “simply inaccurate”.
According to a report in The Sunday Times, the household name is expected to drastically downsize its head office in the capital as part of a slew of reforms brought in by chairman Archie Norman.
It was reported, according to unnamed sources, that “hundreds of jobs” would be lost at the retailer’s HQ, which currently employs some 4,000 people.
But in a statement shared with City A.M., a spokeswoman for M&S said that “it is simply inaccurate that hundreds of roles are being cut.”
“As previously reported in October, we have said the lease on our London office ends in 2028 and that is a sensible time to think about the amount of space we have in London vs elsewhere,” the retail chain said.
The rumoured shake-up comes after chief executive Stuart Machin told shareholders that he was unconvinced M&S still needed its central London head-office in Paddington.
“We’ve got a chance over the few years ahead to plan for that — to have smaller hubs around the country and to do that in the most cost-efficient way, but also to do it where we can attract the best talent from across the whole of the UK,” Machin was reported to have said, according to The Sunday Times.
When the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, Norman was quick to react by shrinking his workforce by 9 per cent, cutting 950 head-office jobs as part of 7,000 redundancies across the company.
The modernising chairman has outlined more than £150 million in cost-saving measures in the next financial year, after reporting £205.5 million of pre-tax profits in the last financial quarter of 2022.