Clarks, the UK-based shoe retailer, will cull the ranks of its corporate staff by a net 700 people worldwide, including in Asia during the next 18 months.
In all, 900 jobs will be lost, the first 160 of which were announced in the UK this week. However by the end of the restructuring process, about 200 new roles will have been created.
Stung by falling sales even before the Covid-19 crisis, Clarks last month announced an unspecified number of store closures in the UK in a move to right-size the business for a post-pandemic era.
The job cuts and store closures are all part of a turnaround strategy dubbed Made to Last, unveiled at the end of last year and intended to reposition the 195-year-old company to trade into its third century of trading.
CEO Giorgio Presca described some of the decisions as “difficult” but said the opportunities they would open up are exciting.
“We thank all affected staff for their contribution to our business and they leave their roles with our heartfelt respect and support.”
Most Clarks stores globally have been closed for weeks during the Covid-19 pandemic, however, those in China and parts of Europe are progressively reopening.
Besides the behind-the-scenes restructure of the group, management are overseeing a refocusing of the brand to reflect its heritage and underline its relevance in today’s market.
The turnaround strategy also includes exploiting the brand’s potential and leveraging its heritage and consumer relevance in today’s market. That includes embracing sustainability, quality, design and product innovation.
“We are a business that walks its own path, and we are evolving to put our brand and consumers at the heart of everything we do,” said Presca.
“This will ensure that our organization is made to last, empowering our people to contribute to a great future for the company.”