MFI quashes rumours of plan to axe 1,000 jobs

MFI, the kitchens and furniture retailer, played down speculation yesterday that it was considering a shake-up of its warehousing and distribution systems that could lead to the loss of up to 1,000 jobs.

The company has been testing a system of "superwarehouses" under which warehouse space in individual stores is reduced, freeing up more space for retail display. Some City analysts say the company is planning to close many of the warehouses attached to its 180 stores and open a national network of 14 "super-distribution" centres instead.

The company declined to comment yesterday, saying its policy was not to comment on market rumour. MFI is in a closed period ahead of its annual meeting statement on 25 September when it will report current sales figures. The company also declined to comment on speculation that its national distribution centre in Northampton is under threat.

However, it is thought that even the closure of all the in-store warehouse space would not see a huge number of staff lose their jobs. Of MFI's 9,294 employees, 2,595 are employed in manufacturing, 6,086 in retailing and less than 800 in central services, which includes warehousing.

MFI has been gradually re-configuring its store portfolio to focus more on the Homeworks format which includes a broader range of homeware products such as furnishings, textiles and tableware. The stores need smaller warehouses and MFI has either been closing the additional space or letting it out to other retailers.

Analysts believe John Randall, MFI's chief executive, is keen to make MFI a more efficient company. The speculation over its distribution systems comes just weeks after the departure of two directors and the announcement that the retail experiment in Germany is to be abandoned after two and half years.

David Brock, the international director who had been with MFI for more than 20 years, left the company with compensation of pounds 150,000.

Trevor Tellett, the managing director of MFI furniture centres left earlier the same month. He will remain as a consultant for a year and will still be paid his annual salary of pounds 160,000.

At the beginning of July MFI reported that pre-election jitters had left the year's sales and profits disappointingly short of expectations. Mr Randall reported that sales were 5 per cent higher in the first nine weeks of the year against growth of 7 per cent in March.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world