John Lewis is to axe nearly 800 jobs in its customer restaurants and store administration in its biggest ever round of redundancies.
The department store chain said it was consulting 773 people about redundancy as it attempts to cut costs and become more efficient. The cuts are the first sign of change since the department store’s managing director, Paula Nickolds, took the helm in late January.
The cuts come just weeks after #Waitrose, John Lewis’s sister company, revealed plans to close six stores and remove a level of management in its supermarkets, putting nearly 700 jobs at risk.
John Lewis said it planned to centralise the administration behind its curtain and carpet estimating and fitting services, moving jobs out of stores to its office in Didsbury, Manchester.
It is also axing chefs, as it switches away from preparing food at in-store cafes in favour of having ready-made dishes delivered by external suppliers.
The retailer said it would offer workers alternative roles, but the majority of those affected by the changes are expected to leave. It will create 386 jobs in the new central administration hub and in cafe customer service roles.