M&S to shut Scots store amid retail and dining upheaval
Victoria’s Secret in Glasgow could be sold, while M&S is pulling out of Paisley high street
UPDATE 20 July: Hospitality and retail sector workers face further cutbacks and upheaval with more jobs being lost and Marks & Spencer closing a Scottish store.
M&S is closing its outlet in Paisley high street and cutting up to 950 jobs across the UK, with store management and head office roles mostly affected.
The company said it planned to accelerate a move towards “a leaner, faster” structure.
Closure of the Paisley store is a blow to current plans to revive the town centre. Employees are being relocated to a newly-opened food hall within Wallneuk Retail Park.
It is understood that staff in the clothing department will be transferred to the Braehead shopping mall at Renfrew which was seen as a major threat to Paisley when it was built more than 20 years ago.
The company announced its ‘Never the same again’ strategy at its results two months ago in response to changes in the retail landscape as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
M&S’s cutbacks will add to those announced by other retailers such as Debenhams and Boots. Fashion chains Ted Baker and Burberry are each cutting 500 jobs. White Stuff has reportedly made 390 staff redundant from its head office and retail stores.
Meanwhile, M&S is believed to have been outbid by Next which is expected to acquire the 26 stores in the UK arm of lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret.
The dining sector has also been hit hard by the lockdown and pandemic.
Azzurri Group said it has been sold out of administration to TowerBrook Capital Partners saving 225 of its Zizzi and Ask Italian restaurants, but 75 which are not included in the deal will close with the loss of 1,200 jobs. It was not known which restaurants will be affected.
Frankie and Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group put up to 3,000 jobs on the line after announcing it will close 125 sites. Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge owner Casual Dining Group said it would close 91 restaurants after calling in administrators. Pizza Express is said to be planning to axe about 75 sites across the UK.
In the leisure sector, London’s Southbank Centre said it may have to cut two-thirds of its staff and Canterbury Cathedral are asking workers to take voluntary redundancy after they lost £3million during lockdown.
The Southbank, which is the biggest arts complex in Europe, warned that 400 of the 600 jobs at the centre in Waterloo are at risk, despite the Government providing £1.57billion worth of financial aid to the arts sector as a whole.