John Lewis made an announcement today (Thursday 23 February) of proposed changes that will lead to around 387 fewer jobs.
Under the proposals, around 773 staff will enter a period of consultation and 386 new jobs will be created.
The department store group’s operations director Dino Rocos said: “These proposals will allow us to modernise our business as it adapts to the changing needs of our customers and the role that shops play in their lives.
“We understand that for some this will mean a period of change, and we are working with affected Partners [staff] over the consultation period to give opportunities for redeployment in new roles wherever possible.”
The two proposals that staff heard about today affect the retailer’s home estimation and fitting services and catering operation.
John Lewis is proposing to move to a regional model for curtains, blinds, and floorcovering estimators and fitters. The aim is broaden its services and increase its flexibility, enabling it to offer more appointments at times which better suit our customers. The proposed change will create more skilled roles for staff who will receive additional training. The company also plans to create a single central customer administration hub to manage customer orders, which will replace the current individual branch administration teams. It will be setting up a new training facility and creating an improved booking system.
John Lewis also proposes to extend the catering model currently used in a third of its shops. This model uses a centrally created menu which requires less on-site preparation. The retailer said: ‘This new model will enable us to change our menu more regularly to keep up with trends, meet the dietary requirements of customers more easily, and give a more consistent offering across all of our shops.’
The business operates 48 shops across the UK (34 department stores, 12 John Lewis at home and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com.