Yesterday, it emerged that John Lewis, a department store chain, is axing 300 jobs as part of its back office shake-up.
The job cuts come amidst the move of the retailer to change its name to “John Lewis & Partners” in an attempt to emphasise the point that it is owned by its employees. It is rebranding to place the staff “at the heart” of everything it does.
The news comes as John Lewis reveals a rebrand to turn around its fortunes amid the troubles experienced in the high street, which has seen many big name brands struggling to survive this year.
The awkward timing, with the employees informed in the past few days, coincides with the fanfare that is surrounding a multimillion-pound rebrand of the mutual, which also owns Waitrose.
According to reports that were released by the Guardian last night, a number of finance, store security, and IT jobs form the 50 department stores of the firm face being axed.
The retailer says that the business model and “strength” of employees, who they call as partners, sets the brand apart from others.
In a statement that was released by a John Lewis spokesperson, it stated: “We are currently speaking to a small group of branch Partners about proposals within our back-of-house operations to ensure a more efficient way of working and modernise our processes so that our business is set up for the future.
The statement added: “As part of these proposals we are also creating a number of new roles and providing better access to training and development. We will be doing everything we can to support those partners impacted by actively helping them to look for other roles across the Partnership”.
They, however, added that 70 jobs would also be created after the reorganisation.
The rebranding announcement by John Lewis comes after the swift on the heels of Debenhams, which has also revealed a new look this week.