450 jobs cut at Specsavers due to Covid-19 business downturn

HUNDREDS of jobs are to be cut at an opticians with a Hampshire office due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 4:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 6:08 pm
Specsavers headquarters in Whiteley

Specsavers today said that 450 support office jobs are at risk of redundancy across its Whiteley (Southampton), Nottingham and Guernsey offices because of a sizeable downturn in business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff employed in Specsavers’ 900 UK stores are not affected by the announcement.

The potential redundancies will impact support office staff at all levels of seniority and span all business functions.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

CEO John Perkins said: ‘We have done everything we possibly could to avoid making people redundant, including implementing salary cuts, the introduction of part-time working arrangements and utilising the government’s furlough scheme. My heart goes out to each and every one of our people who could lose their jobs.

‘Like many other companies, we have, unfortunately, suffered a dramatic downturn in business because of the pandemic and, coupled with a challenging outlook for the economy, we sadly have had no option but to stop many of our major programmes, halt significant capital investment initiatives and carry out an exercise to streamline our organisational structure.

‘Moving forward, our single-minded focus is on rebuilding the business to protect the interests of our joint venture partners and their store teams – giving them the opportunity to grow and thrive as they continue to best-serve our customers and local communities across the country.’