Primark owner Associated British Foods has announced 400 jobs are being cut across the fashion chain’s UK stores as part of an overhaul of its retail management team.
The retailer, which is owned by Associated British Foods, said it had launched a consultation with staff as part of plans to simplify its UK store retail management structure.
It is looking to make the management structure consistent across its estate of over 190 stores in the UK.
While it is creating a new management level role as part of the move, it expects the changes to leave it with around 400 fewer retail managers.
Kari Rodgers, Primark retail director for the UK, said: “The changes we’re proposing will deliver a simplified and more consistent management structure across all of our stores, provide more opportunities for career progression and offer greater flexibility, all of which are designed to help us provide the best possible experience for both our customers and our colleagues.”
The group has also published its latest trading update, revealing a 16 per cent boost in group revenues over the winter period.
Retail sales increased by 36 per cent in the sixteen weeks up to 8 January, despite the interruption of surging Omicron cases over Christmas.
Overall, total Primark sales this period were just five per cent lower than pre-COVID levels over the same period two years ago, with like-for-like sales only 11 per cent lower.
The clothing giant’s business remained steady, as only stores in Austria and Netherlands faced closures following the arrival of the new, highly transmissible variant.
Domestic markets are also showing signs of recovery, with like-for-like sales in the UK now only 10 per cent below rates two years ago, improving on the final quarter of the financial year 2021.
However, the US business was the standout performer and delivered four per cent like-for-like sales growth in the period compared to pre-COVID levels, with sales were 37 per cent ahead of two years ago.
Away from the world of high street retail, Associated British Foods revealed grocery, sugar, agriculture and ingredients revenues in aggregate were six per cent ahead of last year at constant currency.
Sugar revenues were driven by strong European sugar prices and ingredients revenues by a recovery in volumes from COVID-19 affected levels last year.
While the businesses have experienced inflationary pressures in raw materials, commodities, supply chain and energy, the company’s outlook for the full-year remains unchanged.