Thousands more job losses proposed by struggling firms

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Thousands more redundancies have been announced today as employers continue to feel the effect coronavirus has had on consumer habits.

Car dealership Pendragon announced plans to cut 1,800 jobs. Some 15 of its 150 branches would be closed with the loss of 400 jobs, while 1,400 redundancies would be made across its dealers and head office as part of a restructure that began before the crisis.

Pendragon chief executive Bill Berman said: “These have been difficult decisions for the board to make and our priority now is to manage the transition to our new operating model.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is a uniquely challenging situation and we want to protect as many jobs as we can sustainably and the proposed redundancies are, of course, extremely regrettable.”

Meanwhile, holiday operator Tui said it planned to cut 166 high street stores across the UK and Ireland, which would affect up to 900 jobs. It said the decision was taken based on local market data and “predictions on the future of travel” – currently, around 70% of Tui bookings are made online.

Tui said that it would seek to move 70% of staff affected to home-based sales and services roles, and aim to relocate other employees in the remaining high street stores.

In May, the German travel giant said it planned to cut 8,000 jobs globally in an attempt to reduce overheads.

“We want to be in the best position to provide excellent customer service, whether it’s in a High Street store, over the telephone or online, and will continue to put the customer at the heart of what we do,” said Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK and Ireland.

“It is therefore imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service.”

Around 1,200 National Trust employees – around 13% of its workforce – have also been told they face redundancy as part of its plan to save £100m. It expects to close “unprofitable” shops and cafes, rather than whole properties and estates.

Staff at Victoria Beckham’s fashion label have also been informed of plans to cut 20 jobs in production roles in London. A spokesperson for the fashion company told the Guardian that a fall in demand meant it was “paring down” its operations.

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