New Look has axed nearly 400 store management roles following a redundancy consultation which affected 1,000 staff, Retail Week can reveal.

The fashion chain said it undertook the consultation in an effort to rebalance the levels of senior and junior staff in its branches.

Around 390 people including deputy store managers and sales managers were made redundant, while 430 were retained.

Around 100 staff resigned, mainly comprised of natural churn and short-term staff who had not been with the retailer long enough to benefit from redundancy packages.

Another 20 took ‘deferred redundancy’, meaning that they have been made redundant but are at present covering a vacancy such as maternity leave.

New Look, which employs almost 19,000 people globally, is now poised to recruit around 250 supervisors. These will mostly come from outside the business as New Look initially sought to hire from the pool of 390 redundant staff.

A New Look spokeswoman said: “Following a review launched last year, we completed a consultation process over the summer with affected staff so we could assess the level of management roles in our UK and Republic of Ireland stores.

“We carried this out to simplify and improve the management structure across our UK and Republic of Ireland store estate so that we are better placed to meet the needs of our customers.

“We worked closely with all of the affected staff to inform of the proposed changes and to consult on potential options for continuing their employment with us.”

Intense upheaval

The redundancies come during a period of intense upheaval at the value-focused fashion retailer, during which former executive chairman Alistair McGeorge has returned to a management position and other senior executives, including chief executive Anders Kristiansen, have departed.

Under Kristiansen’s leadership New Look flourished as it expanded into China and launched standalone menswear stores while womenswear went from strength to strength.

But that came to an abrupt end in 2016, and New Look has since racked up negative quarter after negative quarter.

The business suffered a 31.8% slump in adjusted EBITDA to £155m in the year to March 25 as like-for-like sales in its core UK business tumbled 6.8%.

The job losses at New Look are the latest to hit retail. Last week Sainsbury’s revealed 2,000 roles would be axed across HR and payroll.