Retail news round-up: M&S could axe jobs if employees reject pay deal, says MP; N Brown faces up to £8m costs and Co-op’s boosts online loyalty

M&S could cut jobs if workers do not accept pay overhaul

Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh has claimed that Marks & Spencer has threatened to lay off thousands of in-store employees if they reject changes to their pay and pensions, The Guardian reports.

McDonagh said a leaked document from the clothing retailer showed that staff who do not agree to the new conditions would have their existing contracts terminated and then be offered a new contract with new terms.

However, the fashion chain insisted that it did not want any workers to leave and the consultation was just one option being considered.

A M&S spokesperson said: “The company has no intention that anyone would leave as a result of these changes. The changes, which will take effect from April, will reward our people in a fair and consistent way, simplify and modernise our business and make our colleagues amongst the highest paid in UK retail.”

N Brown's pay calculation error to cost up to £8m

N Brown is facing an exceptional cash cost of £5m to £8m following a mistake in its calculation of compensation due to customers of its financial services division, The Times reports.

The fashion retailer, which owns plus-sized brands Simply Be and Jacamo, says it has notified the Financial Conduct Authority about the errors.

N Brown also added that it was conducting a detailed review.

Co-op takes loyalty programme online to boost customer engagement

The Co-operative Group is set to roll out its loyalty scheme online in a move to boost customer engagement, The Guardian reports.

The programme rewards its members 5% reward every time they buy a Co-op own-brand product or service with another 1% for local charities.

Co-op chairman Allan Leighton said the loyalty scheme was intended to make membership more meaningful.

“A new Co-op economy starts today, which aligns perfectly with our purpose of championing a better way of doing business,” Leighton said.

Morrisons announces 10% discount for students on groceries

Morrisons has joined up with student discount specialists UNiDAYS to offer 10% discount on food and drink, including beer and wine, in all of its 492 UK stores, the Guardian reported.

This student discount scheme will also be applicable in its cafes and petrol-station kiosks but not on online shopping.

This is a first ever move made by one of the big four supermarket chains to offer a nationwide discount scheme.

Morrisons stated that it has more than 11m shoppers visiting its UK stores each week with many of its stores being close to university campuses. Hence, it introduced this discount scheme to build rapport with students. 

The supermarket added that if the three-month trial becomes successful, the scheme could be rolled out permanently.

Morrisons director of local solutions, Rebecca Singleton, said: “We listened to students and they told us that they would be more loyal to a supermarket that offered the sort of discounts that they get on rail travel, clothes and eating out.”