Bonmarché is making around 140 store assistant roles redundant in a bid to cut costs and weather the market downturn, Retail Week can reveal.
The value fashion retailer, which published improved full-year profits despite falling sales earlier this month, is currently in consultation with in-store staff.
Bonmarché is also redrafting in-store employee contracts to include a mobility clause, which would require staff to travel up to 25 miles to plug staffing gaps at another store “from time to time”. This has caused anger among some staff, who say travelling 25 miles, often on public transport, is not a reasonable request on store assistant pay. The business is currently consulting on the changes to contracts.
The retailer is also creating new supervisor roles and expects a large proportion to be filled internally. The number of these roles being created is unknown.
Bonmarché has been through a period of turbulent trading over the last few years including a profit warning in 2016 and administration under former owner Peacocks.
Last year, profits jumped under new boss Helen Connolly despite falling like-for-likes. Pre-tax profit stood at £8m for the 52 weeks to March 31, 2018, an increase of 38.1% However, like-for-likes fell 4.5% while total sales dipped 0.5% to £223.1m.