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M&S Confirms HQ Job Cull And IT Jobs Move

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Bad news for the capital: Marks & Spencer to move IT and logistic jobs away from London

Marks & Spencer has confirmed it will move 400 IT and logistics jobs away from its London headquarters.

The move comes as the British retail giant also said it would axe an additional 525 jobs at its London HQ.

HQ Restructuring

The “significant changes” to its London head office structure will not affect M&S store employees, and has been developed following a detailed review of the organisation and an analysis of its processes, the firm said.

Essentially the restructuring will see the loss of 525 jobs (260 permanent roles and the rest contractors), and the reduction of 400 IT and logistics roles in an effort to “work more simply and more efficiently”.

“The net reduction would be achieved through a combination of fewer contractors, natural attrition and redundancies for M&S employees,” said the firm.

M&S 2M&S hopes to achieve “significant cost savings” with the move as the changes would save about one percent of its UK costs. There would also be one-off cost of £15 million which includes the changes to the senior management team that have already taken place.

“M&S has to become a simpler and more effective organisation if we are to deliver our plans to recover and grow our business,” said M&S CEO Steve Rowe.

“It is never easy to propose changes that impact on our people, but I believe that the proposals outlined today are absolutely necessary and will help us build a different type of M&S – one that can take bolder, pacier decisions, be more profitable and ultimately better serve our customers,” he said.

“We remain committed to investing in store staffing and improving our customer experience and therefore our store colleagues are not affected by this proposal.”

M&S said that its internal review had identified that the structure at the retailer had “become too complex and inefficient.” It hopes the changes will remove duplication, increase accountability and establish clear, consistent processes.

It said it would enter a consultation period with its staff.

Leaving London

The move comes as Steve Rowe seeks to turn around the fortunes of the British retailer giant. Moving jobs away from the capital, where costs are much higher than in the rest of the UK, is the first step to reduce overall operating costs.

The headquarters of Marks & Spencer are located near Paddington and the firm currently has an estimated 3,000 headquarters staff, spread across seven locations.

The cuts will potentially allow M&S to close of one its head office buildings near Paddington.

It is reported that affected London staff will be relocated to its distribution hub in Hemel Hempstead, just outside of London. The affected IT staff meanwhile will relocated to its IT centre in Stockley Park, Middlesex.

Late last year these IT staff had to contend with “technical difficulties” that exposed customer information to other website users.

The firm said at the time that its website was not hacked by outside third parties, but it did temporarily suspend its website following the incident.

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