C&A is the latest chain to reveal the grim picture of high street clothes retailing with the announcement that it is closing nine of its 110 stores with the loss of more than 500 jobs.
The latest cuts come on top of news last autumn that the chain was closing six stores and axing 160 jobs. The move follows a profit warning from Marks & Spencer two weeks ago when it released its Christmas trading statement.
The latest C&A restructure will affect all personnel – from senior management to distribution and warehouse staff. It will leave the company with 6,000 employees in the UK.
C&A says some of the new losses will be in the marketing department, which only 13 months ago was put under the responsibility of the company’s first director of marketing, Norrie Fairbairn. But a spokeswoman refuses to give details.
The spokeswoman adds: “Retailing is difficult at the moment. The money for investment has to come from somewhere and the profitable stores are the ones we want to keep. The changes will be under Fairbairn; he has only just been appointed.”
The closing stores, which are at Southend, Tunbridge Wells, Camberley, Sutton, Basildon, Ipswich, Hereford, Darlington and Wigan, employ 437 staff, the bulk of which are part-time.
C&A admits it will be unable to find work for most of these.
The cost of the restructure, which also includes the closure of its distribution centre at Tamworth, Staffordshire, and the loss of 41 management jobs, is not being disclosed.