Nearly 400 John Lewis staff look set to lose their jobs as part of an overhaul of the group’s catering operations and curtain and carpet fitting services.
The department store chain said it is was making changes to ways of working which will improve the customer experience and reflect structural changes in the retail industry, such as the shift to online shopping.
John Lewis said its proposals would see around 773 staff enter a period of consultation. Whilst 386 workers will be able to apply for new posts being created, 387 roles will go.
In its catering business, the group plans to increase its use of external food suppliers to service its cafes and restaurants. This will lead to kitchen staff assembling food rather than having to make dishes from scratch, meaning chefs will no longer be required. The group said that the move would enable it to change menus more regularly to keep up with foods trends, more easily meet the dietary requirements of its customers, and give a more consistent offering across all of its shops.
Changes are also being made to its carpet, curtain and blinds fittings service which will lead to less administration staff. The group’s plans to create a single central customer administration Hub to manage orders, which will replace the current individual store administration teams. No jobs will be cut among the estimators and fitters.
Dino Rocos, Operations Director at John Lewis, 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.
“The proposed new structure will allow us to harness partners’ knowledge and skills, giving them more scope to be in the right place at the right time to deliver great service to our customers when and where it’s needed.”