Fashion retailer River Island is set to slash 350 jobs across its store estate as it battles to survive the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

River Island boss Will Kernan sent an internal memo to all staff today confirming the job losses, saying the brand needs “to make sure we have the right structures in place to deliver our omnichannel strategy”. 

Kernan said “with a heavy heart” that the retailer would be restructuring its “retail teams by simplifying our store management structures”. 

“While this is an incredibly difficult decision, these actions are crucial to ensure that our stores continue to effectively play their hugely important role in our omnichannel future,” he added.

“By making these changes, we will create a flatter management structure with a greater emphasis on customer service and a seamless experience, whether online or in-store.”

The news comes just a week after Retail Week revealed the embattled brand was considering undertaking a company voluntary arrangement to slash rents and possibly close some of its 300-strong store estate.

This is the second round of sweeping job cuts at the brand in less than two months after it axed 250 office roles in July. 

The news will come as another heavy blow to the retail sector, which has been hit incredibly hard by store closures and job losses during the pandemic. 

Since the beginning of June, at least 15 high street retailers have slashed jobs, according to Retail Week’s job losses tracker.

Only this week, department store chain Debenhams announced that 2,500 jobs would go.