Britain's M&S to cut 351 store jobs

Shoppers walk past a Marks & Spencer shop on Oxford Street in central London, on June 19, 2018.
Shoppers walk past a Marks & Spencer shop on Oxford Street in central London, on June 19, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - British retailer Marks & Spencer said on Monday (July 16) it would cut 351 jobs at stores across the country, seeking to make savings in a brutally competitive market.

The job losses, first reported by The Guardian, will be mainly in various store management roles and are unrelated to M&S' programme to close 100 British stores by 2022 which has already cost some jobs.

"M&S is transforming and this is a tough but necessary decision to take to ensure our stores support the future of the business and provide the best service for our customers," a spokeswoman for the retailer said.

M&S has reported two straight years of profit decline and analysts forecast a third when it reports 2018 to 2019 results next May.

The retailer said in May that it was modernising rapidly to survive - a theme Chairman Archie Norman returned to at last week's annual shareholders' meeting when he said M&S "has a burning platform."

Shares in M&S were down 1.2 per cent at 1524 GMT.

In 2016 M&S cut a net 525 jobs from its London head office.