RIVER ISLAND is preparing to cut up to 350 senior shop roles in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter to staff, the high street retailer called the pandemic “one of the most significant challenges that River Island has ever faced”.
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River Island is the latest high street retailer to cut back on staffCredit: Alamy
It pointed to ongoing weak footfall despite lockdown easing, plus the shift online.
The retailer employs 7,900 people – but 350 of those will be cut in both store management and senior sales roles.
Store closures haven’t been announced at this stage.
Chief executive Will Kernan said: “We are now in the process of restructuring our retail teams by simplifying our store management structures. With a heavy heart, I can confirm that these changes will potentially impact up to 350 store management and senior sales roles.”
He said the overhaul was “crucial” to ensure the stores still have a role as sales move online.
What are my redundancy rights?
BEFORE making you unemployed, your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.
You are entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you’ve been working somewhere for at least two years.
How much you’re entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You’ll get:
- Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
- One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
- One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.
Sadly, you won’t be entitled to a payout if you’ve been working for your employer for fewer than two years.
There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.
You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.
The privately-owned retailer has already restructured its head office and is negotiating rents with landlords.
River Island staff affected by the latest overhaul have entered a 30-day consultation period in stores. These will conclude throughout September.
It is the latest retailer to look at cutting jobs as high street footfall stays far below the levels enjoyed before the pandemic.
Only today, rival New Look revealed a deal with its creditors that will see £40million pumped into the retailer to reduce its debts – provided landlords agree to the proposals.
The restructuring plan is designed to safeguard 12,000 jobs at the 459-strong chain.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Debenhams said it was axing 2,500 workers. WH Smith, Boots and John Lewis are also making lay-offs.
Job losses since June 2020
MANY firms have announced job cuts since June as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. These include:
- Shoe chain Aldo collapsed into administration with five stores permanently closed
- Victoria’s Secret plunged into administration, putting 800 jobs at risk
- Fashion chain Quiz put its shop business into administration in , putting 82 stores at risk
- British Gas owners cuts 5,000 jobs, over half of which will be in management
- Airbus announces 1,700 job losses. It expects cuts to be made by summer 2021
- TM Lewin says it will close all 66 of its UK shops, putting 600 jobs at risk
- Harveys Furniture goes into administration resulting in 240 immdiate job losses and puts another 1,000 at risk
- Upper Crust plans to make 5,000 out of its 9,000-strong workforce redundant
- EasyJet says it plans to close hubs at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, putting 4,500 jobs at risk
- John Lewis is reported to be planning to cut jobs and permanently close department stores
- Harrods has said it is consulting on cutting 680 jobs
- Virgin Money, which owns Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, will cut 300 jobs
- Topshop owner Arcadia has announced plans to cut 500 office staff
- Royal Mail is expected to cut 2,000 jobs as a result of coronavirus
It comes as London’s West End faces an “existential threat” according to the city’s Mayor Sadiq Khan as footfall remains stuck at just a third of usual levels.
That is according to the New West End Company, which represents 600 businesses across Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street and Mayfair.
The Mayor warned earlier this week that numbers could remain depressed for many months.
730,000 Brits have become unemployed since March when the coronavirus lockdown began.
The government’s furlough scheme is due to come to an end in October with fears unemployment will rise as a result.