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Marks & Spencer puts 450 jobs at risk with warehouse closure

UK News | Published:

The retailer has cut more than 1,300 jobs so far this year.

Marks & Spencer is to close its distribution centre near Warrington, putting 450 jobs at risk.

The latest decision means that M&S has put more than 1,300 jobs under threat this year.

In January, M&S said it was closing 14 stores, affecting nearly 500 jobs. The retailer also ditched its Neasden distribution site near London, putting a further 380 jobs at risk.

M&S said on Tuesday that it will close its Hardwick distribution centre, which is operated by XPO Logistics and DHL, in September. The staff members affected have entered a consultation period with XPO and DHL.

The Hardwick site has become surplus to requirements in part due to M&S’s decision to automate operations at its factory in Bradford, which can handle more capacity.

Gordon Mowat, logistics director at M&S, said: “Closing Hardwick will help to remove some complexity from our network and speed up our supply chain.

“However, it was not a decision we took lightly and it is not in any way a reflection on the hard work and dedication provided by the teams on site.”

M&S is seeking to save costs as part of a five-year turnaround plan spearheaded by chief executive Steve Rowe and chairman Archie Norman, who joined the retailer in September last year.

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The retailer’s woes were brought into sharp focus in its Christmas trading update, when it revealed another steep fall in clothing sales and disappointing festive trading in its food halls as it failed to lure in cost-conscious shoppers.

The high street bellwether blamed a mild October for a 2.8% fall in like-for-like clothing and home sales over the 13 weeks to December 30, while it said “ongoing under-performance” in its food arm left sales 0.4% lower.

Several large retailers have been shedding staff as they try to save costs in an increasingly tough trading environment, with both Sainsbury’s and Tesco axing thousands of middle-managers earlier this year.

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