Barclays axe 1,000 jobs in mail order

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Shop Direct, the mail order company formed from the merger of the catalogue shopping units of GUS and Littlewoods, yesterday said it was axing almost 1,000 jobs in order to cut costs.

Shop Direct, the mail order company formed from the merger of the catalogue shopping units of GUS and Littlewoods, yesterday said it was axing almost 1,000 jobs in order to cut costs.

The company, owned by the Barclay brothers, said it was shutting a distribution centre in Leeds with the loss of 640 jobs, cutting another 260 posts with the closure of a warehouse Worcester, and making 17 redundancies at a garments factory in Bolton.

However it said almost 200 jobs would be moved from Leeds to Worcester and it planned to create about 280 new posts, including 164 call centre jobs, following a decision to shut its Indian centre.

Usdaw, the shop workers' union, said it was alarmed that the decision to shut the units had come only a month after Patricia Hewitt, the trade and industry secretary, had approved the £590m takeover of the GUS business.

A spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry said the decision to clear the merger was taken entirely on competition grounds. "Indeed if the merger had not gone ahead, the Competition Commission concluded that the GUS businesses would have been wound down," he said.

Meanwhile ITV instigated a further round of job cuts yesterday, in pursuit of its goal of savings £100m a year. Workers walked out of a regional television centre in Nottingham in protest at news that 400 jobs would go and a studio close under cost-cutting measures.

Union leaders attacked the announcement, which they said was made worse by news that 75 ITV managers were attending a "strategy meeting" at the Park Lane Hilton in London.

Comments