WH Smith to axe up to 1500 jobs as sales nosedive

The retailer has announced redundancies in the latest hit to the high street.

WH Smith is planning to cut around 1500 jobs as sales have nosedived during the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer has been hit hard by the drop in footfall at key transport hubs and on the high street because of lockdown.

Losses of £70-75m are expected for the year to August 31, the group said.

The majority of job losses – which account for 15% of WH Smith’s workforce – are expected to be in travel shops.

Revenues in the travel shops have plummeted this year, down 92% at the height of lockdown.

Carl Cowling, the chief executive, said: “Covid-19 continues to have a significant impact on the WH Smith Group.

“In our travel business, while we are beginning to see early signs of recovery in some of our markets, the speed of recovery continues to be slow.

“At the same time, while there has been some progress in our high street business, it does continue to be adversely affected by low levels of footfall.

“As a result, we now need to take further action to reduce costs across our businesses.”

WH Smith’s planned redundancies are the latest hit to the high street after Hays Travel, DW Sports and Dixons Carphone all also announced forthcoming job losses.

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