Clothing and food retailer Marks & Spencer said it would cut 7,000 jobs, as it reported a slump in revenue at its clothing business. The positions would be cut over the next three months and would affect UK stores, regional management and the company's central support centre. Marks & Spencer said it expected a significant proportion of the headcount reduction would be through voluntary departures and early retirement. Revenue in the clothing and home division was down 39% in the last 13 weeks, though in the eight weeks since store reopening, it was down 30% 'with trends steadily improving,' the company said. Food sales rose 2.5%, with like-for-like sales excluding the impact of the closure of hospitality and travel franchise units up 11%, also with an improving trend. 'In May we outlined our plans to learn from the crisis, accelerate our transformation and deliver a stronger, more agile business in a world in which some customer habits were changed forever,' chief executive Steve Rowe said. 'Three months on and our Never the Same Again programme is progressing; albeit the outlook is uncertain and we remain cautious.' 'As part of our Never The Same Again programme to embed the positive changes in ways of working through the crisis, we are today announcing proposals to further streamline store operations and management structures.' 'These proposals are an important step in becoming a leaner, faster business set up to serve changing customer needs and we are committed to supporting colleagues through this time.'
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