Warner Bros’ to axe staff after head office relocation

Marketing, merchandising and retail staff at the Warner Bros Studio Stores head office are facing redundancy. The news follows a proposal to relocate the company and hand operational control to a management buy-in team.

The sports, media and entertainment business Enic, which has an 80 per cent stake in the company, is considering handing operational control to former Sports Division retail operations director John Kinnaird and former Barratts sales manager Paul Drake.

Kinnaird and Drake, who are thought to be taking on the roles of managing and operations director respectively at Warner Bros, are set to take a 20 per cent stake in the company.

Warner Bros’ head office is located at the Regent Street store, which is closing. It is expected to be re-established in the Midlands, in a bid to cut rent costs. Up to 25 staff at the head office are being offered the opportunity to relocate.

UK marketing manager Tina Phipps left to work for a TV production company two weeks ago. Shaun Rhodes has taken on her role as acting UK marketing manager.

Warner Bros is also closing its store in Buchanan Street, Glasgow, which will result in up to 45 retail staff losing their jobs – leaving 14 stores across the UK. The chain’s other Scottish outlet, in the Braehead shopping centre near Renfrew, is not thought to be under threat.

The closures are part of an initiative to reduce the size of stores measuring about 3,000-4,000 sq ft while ensuring the properties are in areas of high “footfall”.

A spokesman for Warner Bros says: “We have had the Regent Street store for nearly seven years and it needs a revamp. We also want to move into Oxford Street, where the footfall is greater.”

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