UK retailer John Lewis announced on Thursday that it will be cutting 387 jobs in an effort to 'improve the customer experience, resulting in a more efficient way of operating.'
The job cuts will come during a period of 'change, investment and innovation' that is required in the volatile retail sector that is undergoing 'structural changes'.
Roughly 773 employees, or 'partners', will enter a period of 'consultation', and 386 positions will be created. These new roles will include more skilled positions, with a larger potential for career development.
As part of this revamp, John Lewis' home estimation and fitting services for curtains, blinds and floor coverings will move to a regional model in order to provide 'seamless service' to customers.
The company is also proposing to create a central 'Customer Administration Hub' to deal with all customer orders, replacing individual branch management teams. In order to do this, it will set up a new training facility and create an improved booking system for such orders.
Another strategy involves expanding its catering service, which is now available in a third of its stores. This new model requires less preparation in-house as it uses a centrally-created menu, the company said.
'This new model will enable us to change our menu more regularly to keep up with trends, more easily meet the dietary requirements of customers, and give a more consistent offering across all of our shops,' the retailer said.
Changing Needs Of Customers
Operations director Dino Rocos added, "Our partners are passionate about offering the very best customer service and these proposals will allow us to modernise our business as it adapts to the changing needs of our customers and the role that shops play in their lives.
"The proposed new structure will allow us to harness partners' knowledge and skills, giving them more scope to be in the right place at the right time to deliver great service to our customers when and where it's needed.
"We understand that for some this will mean a period of change, and we are working with affected partners over the consultation period to give opportunities for redeployment in new roles wherever possible."
John Lewis operates 48 shops across the UK, as well as johnlewis.com.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.