1,500 jobs to go at WH Smith in ‘significant’ staff cuts

PUBLISHED: 10:05 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:14 05 August 2020

WH Smith has announced 'significant' job cuts. (Pictured) The St Stephen's Street, Norwich store. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

WH Smith has announced 'significant' job cuts. (Pictured) The St Stephen's Street, Norwich store. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

WH Smith has announced it is cutting 1,500 members of staff after the coronavirus drove customers away from its stores.

It has not been announced where the jobs will be lost – though staff in Norfolk will be concerned by the news as the group has outlets across the county.
This includes five across Norwich including the Norwich train station and the NNUH, as well as outlets in Diss and Thetford.

The retailer said group revenues were down 57pc in July compared with the same month last year, after its travel arm was particularly badly hit by the pandemic.

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It said it now expects to make a loss of between £70 million and £75 million for the year to August.

WH Smith group chief executive Carl Cowling said: “In our travel business, while we are beginning to see early signs of recovery in some of our markets, the speed of recovery continues to be slow.

“At the same time, while there has been some progress in our high street business, it does continue to be adversely affected by low levels of footfall.

“As a result, we now need to take further action to reduce costs across our businesses.

“I regret that this will have an impact on a significant number of colleagues whose roles will be affected by these necessary actions, and we will do everything we can to support them at this challenging time.”

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