Up to 1,500 jobs to go at WHSmith over ‘slow’ lockdown recovery

WHSmith is looking to cut up to 1,500 jobs as the high street retailer said the recovery from the coronavirus lockdown remained slow.

The company said group revenues were down 57% in July compared with the same month last year, after its travel business was particularly badly hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

It said it now expected to make a loss of between £70m and £75m for the year to August.

WHSmith group chief executive Carl Cowling said: “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.

“I regret that this will have an impact on a significant number of colleagues whose roles will be affected by these necessary actions, and we will do everything we can to support them at this challenging time.”

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