• Job losses will be mix of redundancies, fewer contractors and natural attrition
  • 400 staff will also move out of central London
  • Chief executive Steve Rowe said M&S must be a “simpler and more effective” business

Marks & Spencer has confirmed it intends to cut 525 jobs, and hundreds of logistics and IT staff will be moved out of central London.

The retailer said there would be a net reduction of 525 head office roles.

Additionally, the number of permanent IT and logistics roles based in its central London head offices will be reduced by 400 as part of its efforts to “work more simply and more efficiently”.

Members of the IT and logistics teams will work instead from M&S’s offices in Hemel Hempstead, Herts, and Stockley Park, Middlesex.

The cuts will comprise an undisclosed number of redundancies, fewer contractors and natural staff attrition.

The change is expected to reduce the retailer’s cost base by 1% on an annualised operating cost basis, but anticipated cost growth this year will remain unchanged at 3.5%.

M&S expects to bear a non-underlying cost of £15m, but that figure also includes changes to the senior team, which have already taken place.

M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said: “M&S has to become a simpler and more effective organisation if we are to deliver our plans to recover and grow our business.

“It is never easy to propose changes that impact on our people, but I believe that the proposals outlined today are absolutely necessary and will help us build a different type of M&S – one that can take bolder, pacier decisions, be more profitable and ultimately better serve our customers. “We remain committed to investing in store staffing and improving our customer experience and therefore our store colleagues are not affected by this proposal.”

The retailer said the decision to reduce roles followed an organisational review that showed M&S “has become too complex and inefficient”.

M&S said: “Today’s proposals aim to address this by removing duplication, driving accountability and establishing clear, consistent processes; which in turn will strip out unnecessary costs. M&S has used the basis of the review to reshape and redefine the organisational structure in line with its strategy.”

The retailer will undertake a consultation on the changes through its Business Involvement Group of elected employee representatives, “which will give careful consideration to any alternative proposals”.