December 1, 2020

Bakery chain Greggs to permanently axe 820 jobs due to Covid-19 pandemic – Mirror Online

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/bakery-chain-greggs-permanently-axe-23007460

Britain’s biggest bakery chain has announced plans to cut 820 jobs due to the ongoing pandemic.

Greggs said hundreds of roles will be axed in the coming weeks, as the high street continues to be hammered by the coronavirus crisis.

Greggs boss Roger Whiteside warned of job cuts in September, just months after the business reopened from the initial lockdown.

Staff were asked to reduce their contracted hours to help minimise job losses, however this week, 820 employees were placed on consultation.

It comes as daily sales remain 70% below normal levels.

A Greggs spokesman told Mirror Money stores are unaffected by the announcement, with the company in talks to open 20 new branches by Christmas.

Greggs employs 25,000 people and has over 2,000 shops across the UK.

The cuts are equivalent to around 3% of the firm’s total workforce.

The company is one of many high street chains struggling at the hands of the pandemic
(Image: SWNS)

The latest cuts come just a day after stationary chain WH Smith revealed plans to permanently close 25 stores across the UK.

The company said it’s in talks to close a number of smaller outlets – in a move that will place around 200 jobs at risk.

It comes after bosses reported a £280million loss triggered by the pandemic.

Greggs have reopened a small number of stores as they trial new safety measures which will hopefully lead to a UK wide return to trading

Stores are understood to be unaffected by the decision
(Image: Getty Images)

Around 240 of WH Smith’s 400 travel shops are still trading as ‘essential’ retailers.

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Chief executive Carl Cowling said: “Since March, we have been heavily impacted by the pandemic.

“We are expecting a significant decline in passenger numbers as a result of travel bans with the majority of our stores at airports and railway stations temporarily closed.”

The company, which had more than 14,000 staff in 2019, culled 1,500 jobs in August, mostly in the travel division.

“I regret that this will have an impact on a significant number of colleagues whose roles will be affected by these necessary actions, and we will do everything we can to support them at this challenging time,” Cowling said at the time.