WHSmith, PizzaExpress and Hays Travel Among Companies Announcing Job Cuts

Written by: Keith Tully

Whsmith storeA growing number of companies have been announcing their intention to make significant cuts to their workforces as the coronavirus crisis continues and the UK economy struggles to rebound.

Among the latest businesses to confirm plans for redundancy rounds include the retailers WHSmith and the owner of Currys PC World, who have said they intend to cut around 1,500 and 800 jobs respectively.

WHSmith has said its recovery from the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown has been slow so far and its sales figures have suffered badly, with overall revenues down 57 per cent in July compared to the same month of last year.

Dixons Carphone, which owns Currys PC World, has said it will be making 800 more of its staff redundant, only a matter of a few months after it announced an intention to close all of its Carphone Warehouse outlets and shed 2,900 jobs in the process.

Meanwhile, the family-owned fashion retailer M&Co, based in Scotland, has said that it will close 47 of its stores and cut several hundred jobs as part of a major restructuring process.

High street retailers endured a tough year in 2019 but this year has been yet more challenging with many more redundancies expected across the sector in the coming weeks and months.

The hospitality sector has also been badly hit by the coronavirus situation and many casual dining businesses and other restaurant chains are being forced to close outlets.

This week PizzaExpress said it may soon need to close around 67 restaurants and potentially cut more than 1,000 jobs in an effort to remain viable in the context of coronavirus and the need for social distancing.  

The well-known Italian restaurant chain has said it could soon enter a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in an effort to put its UK-wide operations on a more sustainable financial footing.

Elsewhere, Hays Travel, which acquired Thomas Cook’s high street shops after it went out of business last year, has announced plans to cut more than 800 jobs within its workforce owing to major distribution within the travel industry.

There are fears that many more companies across a wide array of industries will soon be announcing job cuts of their own as the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is tapered off towards the end of October.

Keith Tully

Keith Tully

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Keith has been involved in Business Rescue since 1992, during which time he’s worked for both independent and national firms. His specialties include company restructuring matters and negotiating with HMRC on his clients behalf.

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