Greggs cuts 820 jobs as coronavirus takes toll on high street

CORONAVIRUS has claimed more jobs on the high street with Greggs set to axe 820 roles.

The drop in demand from customers as they avoid the high street has forced the bakery to make redundancies.

Greggs boss Roger Whiteside warned of job cuts in September due to the pandemic.

Staff were asked to reduce their contracted hours to help minimise job losses, but after a period of consultation the need to make hundreds of redundancies was confirmed with staff this week.

The bakery chain employs 25,000 people and has over 2,000 shops.

The cuts are equivalent to around 3% of the workforce.

Greggs is not planning to make any store closures and is looking at opening new shops in locations which are accessible by car in future.

Sales at Greggs in the three months to the end of September were 70% of what they were at the same time last year, with city stores and shops near public transport harder hit.

It has rolled out click and collect and delivery services across the country to boost sales.

High street job cuts

  • Burger King: the fast food giant is restructuring – which could cost up to 1,600 jobs
  • Pizza Hut: confirmed job losses up up to 450 jobs after a plan to close 29 restaurants was approved by landlords
  • H&M:-announced plans to shut 250 stores globally next year.
  • TSB – 164 branches are at risk of closure – with 848 employees at risk
  • Fuller's: Fuller's said more than 500 jobs could be lost as a result of the pandemic.
  • Pizza Express: Confirmed 73 restaurants to close putting 1,100 jobs at risk
  • Premier Inn: Owner Whitbread to cut 6,000 jobs due to coronavirus
  • Wetherspoons: To cut up to 450 jobs from six pubs in airports
  • Costa Coffee: announced plans to cut 1,650 jobs
  • Cineworld: 5,500 jobs thought to be at risk as all UK and Ireland cinemas are set to shut temporarily
  • Pret A Manger: 2,800 jobs at risk as 30 stores are earmarked for closure
  • Marks and Spencer: confirmed plans to axe up to 7,000 workers over the next three months
  • WHSmith: says 200 jobs are at risk as it looks to close 25 stores
  • Argos: 3,500 jobs are to go at Sainbury's and Argos, with the majority at the toy retailer
  • John Lewis: 1,5000 head office jobs are to go following 1,300 gone in stores

The bakery is not the only one feeling the pain of the pandemic.

WHSmith said 200 jobs are at risk as it closes 25 of its high street stores, while Caffe Nero has brought in restructuring experts to avoid store closures and redundancies.

Covid has plunged 782,000 into unemployment, the latest official figures show.

The rate of unemployment stands at 4.8% for the three months to September, according to data from the Office for National Statistics, up from 5% from the previous month.

A second lockdown is expected to take a toll on businesses and could lead to further redundancies despite the extension of the furlough scheme by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.


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