C & A’s exit sees high street rivals swoop on staff

Just as there has been a nostalgic run on C&A goods since the news that the store is to pull out of Britain, so too has there been a rush for C&A staff.

The clothes retailer has been forced to set up a new department to deal with requests from employers and agencies keen to snap up their employees.

“Since the announcement we have had more than 200 approaches for our staff,” said head of HR Suzanne Chevous.

Employers who have registered an interest include mid-market arch-rival Marks & Spencer, Harrods and new US-inspired discounters such as TK Maxx. At Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, the closure of the C&A store has led to 22 staff finding jobs with new tenant Next.

“We have had low labour turnover in the past and I suspect employers recognise that they would be getting well-trained, motivated staff,” said Chevous.

The surge has mirrored a sudden run on C&A goods that had been selling poorly until the firm announced it was leaving the UK high street outposts it had acquired since arriving in 1922.

The firm has committed itself to 9000 training days to help staff with CV-writing, job hunting and interview skills. Three major stores are to close in December, with the rest set to follow in January 2001.

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