A number of jobs are are at risk of redundancy at footwear retailer Clarks, according to reports.

Clarks Bury St Edmunds

Clarks posted a loss of £39.8m after being in profit last year

More than 150 jobs are at risk after Clarks posted a loss for the full year to December 31, 2023, as reported by Drapers.

At risk staff are believed to be at the footwear retailer’s global offices, including its UK headquarters in Somerset as well as a US head office in Massachusetts.

The news comes after Clarks posted a £39.8m pre-tax loss in 2023, down from a profit of £35.9m in the year before, while sales for the year were up 1.4% to £994.5m.

The footwear retailer said the loss came as a result of “a number of factors” including an increased consumer demand for lower price products.

Clarks declined to comment on the redundancies.

Turbulence and upheavals

Clarks said: “Customers continue to be cautious in their shopping with greater demand for lower price points. The business and trading environment at the close of 2023 is one of ongoing uncertainty and relative pessimism, especially in the Western hemisphere.

“Continuing major conflicts and inflationairy pressures are the key drivers in subdued customer sentiment, resulting in stagnant economic growth expectations in major markets. This is evident in the financial performance of Clarks in 2023, operating in a market with weak demand that has been ‘over supplied’ in the global recovery post pandemic.”

The latest job cuts comes amid a turbulent time for Clarks after 103 staff members were let go last year, which the retailer said at the time was to protect the progress it had made over the past few years.

More recently, Clarks managing director for the UK and Ireland Bob Neville and chief product officer Victoria Jones exited the business last month,hot on the heels of chief executive Jonathan Ram, who stepped down a few weeks earlier to “pursue other opportunities” after just two years at the helm.

Clarks is currently being led by chair Colin Li and a group of directors who have formed an interim executive committee.