Marks & Spencer is reportedly seeking redundancies across 18 Irish stores according to an interview with the Irish Independent newspaper. Trade unions Mandate and Siptu will ballot staff on the proposed redundancy plan, with the recommendation that staff accept the offer. As figures show that there was a decline in sales being made in shops prior to the Covid 19 pandemic. This decline has now been accelerated due to the lockdown conditions.

The redundancies will mainly be at the flagship stores in Grafton St and Mary St in Dublin and Patrick St in Cork. As well as two stores located in shopping centres, Liffey Valley and Dundrum. However staff at any of the 18 stores in Ireland with 10 years or more service could apply for redundancy.

Documentation seen by the Irish Independent stated that “The migration to online shopping accelerated significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. People working from home and a lack of tourists on the ground has impacted our sales in our city centre stores. This will continue for the foreseeable future,” it said.

“A very low turnover rate means that we have kept original staffing levels in these stores, despite a significant decrease in sales, and a number of employment contracts may no longer be appropriate to the current retail environment and business,” stated the document.

“This had resulted in M&S having 250 staff too many across 15 of its 18 Irish stores, although eligible staff at Omni Park and Clarion Quay, both in Dublin and at Letterkenny, would also be entitled to apply for the redundancy programme ahead of a deadline at the end of this month,” it added.

Source: Checkout