M&S expected to slash 500 head office jobs

Marks & Spencer is expected to cut 500 jobs at its London head office, as chief executive Steve Rowe tries to stem falling sales in the retailer's clothing division.

M&S: new boss Steve Rowe may cut jobs as part of his turnaround plan
M&S: new boss Steve Rowe may cut jobs as part of his turnaround plan

According to Sky News, the cuts will be announced on 8 September, following a review of M&S' structure by Rowe.

Rowe took the job from Marc Bolland in April this year, presiding over an 8.9% like-for-like sales drop in clothing in its first quarter. He dubbed the fall "unacceptable". The food division also disappointed for the quarter, falling 0.9%.

An M&S spokeswoman said the retailer would not comment on "rumours", but the company did announce a 14.7% rise in basic pay for existing staff as part of its restructure. The changes were in response to criticism of Rowe's proposal to change the company's pay and pension scheme.

The spokeswoman 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."

It is not clear yet whether the cuts will affect M&S' marketing operations. The retailer has just moved its advertising account from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R to Grey London.

Read more: What next as M&S and Sainsbury's move ad accounts?