Mulberry plans to axe a quarter of its workforce across the globe as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on the business.

The luxury fashion and accessories brand, best known for its leather handbags, currently employs 1,400 staff – 1,140 of whom work in the UK.

Mulberry said the move was necessary in order to manage its cost base and ensure the company was “the correct size and structure” for a post-coronavirus future.

The business has launched a consultation period over its proposals, which will last 45 days.

Mulberry has already reopened stores in China and South Korea, as well as some of its locations in Canada and Europe. It plans to start reopening its UK shops from June 15.

But it warned that social distancing measures, coupled with declining footfall and tourist visitors, would continue to impact its bottom line.

As well as its 120 stores in 25 countries across the globe, Mulberry also ships to 190 countries through its online platform.

It said, however, that digital sales would not fully offset the slump in demand caused by store closures.

Mulberry said: “Even once stores reopen, social distancing measures and reduced tourist and footfall levels will continue to impact our revenue. As a result of this, we must manage our operations and cost base accordingly to ensure the company is the correct size and structure to reflect market conditions.”