Marks and Spencer is preparing to cut hundreds of jobs

Marks and Spencer, the high street food and clothing retailer, could be forced to cut hundreds of jobs in the next couple of weeks, according to a report from Sky News.

The retailer will axe as many as 500 jobs from its central London headquarters, according to the report, meaning that only office workers, and not those staff working on the shop floor, will be affected by the cuts.

Around 3,500 staff currently work in the Paddington HQ, meaning that the cuts will amount to roughly 15% of all staff working there.

The cuts are expected to be made next Thursday, Sky’s City Editor Mark Kleinman reported on Saturday.

New chief executive Steve Rowe is seeking to turn around M&S’ fortunes. Rowe, who took over from former boss Marc Bolland in April, wants to make sweeping changes to the way the company functions in order to arrest a slide in profitability and overall performance.

The firm’s food business — which generally speaking is pitched at a premium level compared to the likes of Tesco and Morrisons — is performing solidly. However, clothing and home sales are plummeting. In M&S’ most recent results, released in July, the company reported an 8.9% fall in that area.

Marks and Spencer said: “We said at our full-year results in May that organisation was an area of the business that needed further consideration and that we would update on this in the autumn.

“We would never comment on rumour and speculation and have nothing further to add.”

Shares in the company are marginally lower on Monday morning, falling around 0.8% as of 8:35 a.m. BST (3:35 a.m. ET), having gained marginally in early trade. Here’s the chart:

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