Home shopping and high street giant GUS is to make sweeping job cuts at its home shopping business. Staff were informed at the end of last week.
At least 60 jobs will go as part of a cost reduction strategy at its recently-renamed ARG Equation home shopping division based at GUS's 950-strong Manchester head office.
A spokeswoman said: 'We are examining wide-ranging ways of reducing costs (at ARG Equation) and it is likely this will include job losses from various head office teams.'
She said there will be a 30-day consultation period to allow staff to opt for voluntary redundancy and would not confirm rumours that the buying, merchandising and quality control departments could be the worst hit.
She said: 'We can't say yet where the cuts will be until after the consultation period.'
The agency catalogue market has struggled in recent years, particularly since the advent of more accessible and cheaper credit available to consumers and the rise of discount retailers such as Matalan.
The cuts will fuel speculation that GUS's home shopping division is not succeeding in its struggle to grow within the shrinking catalogue market.
In July, GUS reported that home shopping sales fell by 2 per cent in the three months to the end of June, while Argos, excluding the Additions catalogue, increased like-for-likes by 5 per cent.