MFI – which was bought by Merchant Equity Partners in October 2006 – is reviewing 117 roles at its head office in Colindale in north London and at its support office in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. The two offices house just over 200 staff.
Of those 117 roles, 42 are vacant already because, for just over a year, the retailer has not replaced staff who have left. The roles span the finance, financial services, trading, marketing and human resources departments.
MFI marketing director Michael Greenhalgh said: “Since we were bought, we have prioritised distribution and supply as the most critical functions and invested£95 million in these areas with our new distribution centre in Thorne [in Yorkshire] and new ranges.
“Now we are entering the second phase of the turnaround plan and that means reducing our costs and improving efficiencies.”
The review will be completed by the end of June and no store staff will be affected. MFI chief executive Gary Favell said: “Making significant changes to deliver the necessary results has been the plan since the acquisition of MFI Retail. These decisions are never easy, but they are critical to the turnaround of the business.”
MFI’s head office in Colindale remains up for sale and Greenhalgh said that a buyer has not yet been found. “We want to move to smaller premises in the same locality, but will wait until a buyer has been found for the existing office first,” he said.
Greenhalgh said the next stage of the turnaround would focus on growth. MFI is introducing new kitchen ranges in 50 stores and, last month, it launched its first five years’ interest-free credit promotion.