M&Co to shut 47 stores and cut 380 jobs under restructuring plan

Fashion chain M&Co is to close 47 stores and axe 380 jobs as part of a major restructuring it said will secure the company’s long-term future.

The high street chain said it will continue to operate with 218 stores and 2,200 employees after completing the restructuring, having hired Deloitte as administrators in April.

The retailer said it believes its reduced network of stores, focused on local high streets, will strengthen its position, “with the coronavirus outbreak reducing appetites to travel longer distances on public transport”.

Chief executive Andy McGeoch said the company took a “huge financial hit” after having to shut its stores in March due to the pandemic.

He said: “We reopened most stores in June and have been exploring every possible option, but it was obvious that the business, as previously structured, would remain under severe pressure from the ongoing challenges of Covid-19.

Model wearing sunglasses
The fashion chain was founded in 1961 (M&Co/PA)

“It quickly became clear the best way to save most jobs and most stores was to enter administration, with a new company acquiring the assets of the old business, and this process has now been finalised.”

Mr McGeoch said staff in stores and at its Glasgow and London headquarters will be impacted by the job cuts.

He said: “It’s not a decision we took lightly, after more than 50 years of trading, but it gives us a sustainable basis from which to rebuild, with the majority of our staff keeping their jobs and 218 stores in high streets across the country remaining open.

“The most difficult part of this process is undoubtedly seeing around 380 colleagues in stores and at our Glasgow and London operations leaving the business.

“It’s a terrible situation for them and I’m desperately sorry that we couldn’t come up with a viable plan which would have saved all the jobs.”

The retailer, which was founded in Scotland in 1961, is the latest retailer to announce cuts, following major job losses at WH Smiths and Dixons Carphone in the past 24 hours.

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