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shop layoffs Penneys’ Irish staff to escape Primark's 400 UK jobs cuts across 191 stores

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UK revenues at Primark remain under pressure due to Omicron. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

UK revenues at Primark remain under pressure due to Omicron. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

UK revenues at Primark remain under pressure due to Omicron. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Plans by Primark to cut hundreds of jobs in the UK, where revenues are lagging behind pre-Covid levels, will not lead to similar layoffs here, a spokesperson said.

Primark plans to cut about 400 jobs in the UK to reduce costs as the onset of Omicron has hit a recovery in revenues, its owner Associated British Foods said.

Primark trades as Penneys in Ireland, where it has 37 shops.

The firm employs around 29,000 people across its 191 UK stores.

The company said the proposed changes to its management structure in the UK are designed to provide clearer accountability, greater flexibility and more management support on the shop floor to better meet the needs of the business and customers.

Kari Rodgers, Primark retail director for the UK said: “The changes we’re proposing will deliver a simplified and more consistent management structure across all of our stores, provide more opportunities for career progression and offer greater flexibility, all of which are designed to help us provide the best possible experience for both our customers and our colleagues.”

Primark will now enter a consultation process with affected employees and their representatives.

Chief financial officer John Bason announced the reduction in UK managerial roles.

Primark’s revenue over the holiday period was 11pc lower than the same period two years ago on a like-for-like basis, AB Foods said.

The company said it is still facing supply chain disruption and has been raising prices in some of its divisions, such as grocery, to offset higher energy and commodities costs.

The company said it expects lower first-half earnings from its ingredients and grocery units.

Uncertainty still remains in Europe as some countries implement restrictions to curb the spread of Omicron.

Like-for-like sales on the continent were 14pc lower than pre-pandemic levels, it said.

The United States was the standout, with revenue rising 4pc over two years ago.

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The British conglomerate, which has businesses spanning fashion to agriculture, said it expects significant growth in profit this year.

The stock fell 4pc in London while the wider share market was flat.

Additional reporting Bloomberg

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