This week in retail appointments

Boots cuts 4000 UK jobs

UK health and beauty retailer Boots, one of the best-known names on Britain’s shopping streets, plans to cut 4000 jobs and close its 48 optician stores, in the latest major blow to the country’s retail sector from the Covid-19 crisis.

Walgreens, the US-based owner of Boots, said the closures and job cuts, which include a 20 per cent headcount reduction at its support office, accelerated a restructuring already in train.

The company, which has 2465 stores, said it was forced to act after sales at its main Boots outlets plummeted 72 per cent and sales at Boots Opticians dived 48 per cent during lockdown, the Guardian reports.

The group said the total adverse impact of Covid-19 on sales in the quarter was US$700 million to US$750 million (more than $1 billion).

Ward-Rees returns to Burberry

As part of a wide-ranging reorganisation of its corporate structure, UK-based luxury retailer Burberry has welcomed back Adrian Ward-Rees to lead its ready-to-wear business, effective July 20.

Ward-Rees was director of merchandising at Burberry between 2007 and 2011. For the last four years, he has been senior VP and MD of Dior Homme with Christian Dior, and previously worked at Hong Kong-headquartered Lane Crawford. He will be based in London and report to CEO Marco Gobbetti.

Burberry plans to set up three new business units: ready-to-wear, accessories and shoes. It says it plans to “pool expertise within them” to improve its focus on products and lift quality.

CEO bows out of India’s oldest department store

Shoppers Stop’s managing director and CEO Rajiv Suri has resigned, after almost two years at the helm of India’s oldest department store chain.

Suri was appointed as the CEO in January 2018 and was made managing director in June this year. He has over 25 years of experience in the retail industry, and joined Shoppers Stop from Dubai-based retailer Majid Al Futtaim Holding, where he was CEO of the fashion business.

Suri has tendered his resignation for personal reasons, effective August 25, to pursue a career in a company outside India.

Indian HR magazine People Matters, reported that last month, the retailer laid off 1100 employees and stated that it would close a number of its 86 stores across India due to falling sales caused by Covid-19.


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