Selfridges has told staff it plans to cut 450 jobs with annual sales set to be “significantly less” than last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Managing director Anne Pitcher said high streets were changing even before coronavirus and the business has now been forced to make “fundamental changes”.
Ms Pitcher said in an email to Selfridges staff: “How we work, shop and socialise is changing.
“Of course, our high streets were changing rapidly before Covid-19 arrived.
“As a creative business at the forefront of retail, we have a proud history of leading the way, however the speed and magnitude of what is happening right now and the impact on trading means we must make some more fundamental changes to our organisation to stay ahead and realise a more sustainable future.
“Like many others, we are feeling the effects and acknowledge that recovery will be slow, with sales this year forecast to be significantly less than they were in 2019. It will, without doubt, be the toughest year we have experienced in our recent history.
“As a family business, the hardest decisions are the ones that affect our people, which is why it pains me to share news today of the toughest decision we have ever had to take that we will, very regrettably, need to make a 14% net reduction in our overall headcount, approximately 450 roles.”