John Lewis is axing almost 400 jobs as it grapples with “changing customer needs” and “structural changes” across the retail industry.
The department store business said the proposed changes, which affect its home estimation and fitting services and catering teams, are expected to lead to around 387 fewer roles.
John Lewis said 773 staff have today entered a period of consultation over their positions, but 386 new jobs will be created under plans to create “a more efficient way of operating”.
The retailer said the new positions will “enable partners to work more flexibly” and “open up opportunities for more skilled roles with more potential for career progression”.
It comes just weeks after John Lewis’ stablemate Waitrose unveiled plans to slash hundreds of jobs amid a drive to simplify its store management teams.
In the latest shake-up at the Partnership, John Lewis said it would move to a “regional model” for its curtains, blinds, and floor covering estimators and fitters.
John Lewis said the changes, which are being made in response to how consumers shop for the services, would allow it to “broaden” its services and “increase flexibility” to allow more appointments at times that suit customers.
The retailer will also create a central customer administration hub to manage customer orders, which will replace individual branch administration teams.
In its catering business, John Lewis said it would now use a “centrally created menu” which requires less on-site preparation and fewer staff members at each of its stores.
John Lewis said the model, which has already been used successfully in a third of its shops, will allow the retailer to change its menu “more regularly to keep up with trends” and provide “a more consistent offering” across its portfolio.
John Lewis operations director Dino Rocos said: “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.”