River Island to cut 350 jobs in wake of coronavirus crisis

High street fashion store River Island is to cut 350 jobs in a major shake-up of its management.

The business has told staff it intends to slash store management and senior sales roles as part of a restructure of its retail team in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak lockdown and a fall in shopper numbers after they were allowed to reopen.

The news comes just a month after it said it would cut 250 head office staff as part of cost-cutting measures.

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River Island has a number of stores across the North East. Image copyright Google Maps.River Island has a number of stores across the North East. Image copyright Google Maps.
River Island has a number of stores across the North East. Image copyright Google Maps.

It runs 300 stores across the UK, including branches in the Bridges in Sunderland, Washington Galleries, Waterloo Square in South Shields, the Metrocentre in Gateshead, the Arnison Centre in Durham, Middleton Grange in Hartlepool, Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough and Wellington Square in Stockton.

Chief executive Will Kernan told staff in an internal memo changes will create a "flatter management structure with a greater emphasis on customer service".

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He said: "We need to make sure we have the right structures in place to deliver our omnichannel strategy, and to continue to deliver the amazing River Island in-store experience that our customers know and love.

"With a heavy heart, I can confirm that these changes will potentially impact up to 350 store management and senior sales roles.

"Whilst this is an incredibly difficult decision, these actions are crucial to ensure that our stores continue to effectively play their hugely important role in our omnichannel future."

River Island has reportedly eyed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) or other form of insolvency to reduce its rent costs in a bid to save money.

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