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Hundreds of redundancies to come at Pentland, Boxfresh brand to be "paused"

Published
Jul 7, 2020
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Pentland Brands is to “hibernate” its sneaker brand Boxfresh and cut around 350 jobs as part of a strategic review of its global structure.


Boxfresh


The British retail group has revealed that going forward, it will place an increased emphasis on sustainability and its core brands, Speedo, Berghaus, Endura, Canterbury, Mitre, Ellesse, Kickers and SeaVees. 

This is part of a number of planned changes to secure the company’s future.

Pentland will also invest in its technology and digital platforms, including further expansion of the Pentland Brands B2B website, pentlandconnect.com, which enables retailers to check stock in real-time and place brand orders directly 24/7.

Andy Long, CEO of Pentland Brands said: “While our strategic review started before the Covid-19 pandemic, we know the crisis will have a major impact on our business for, at least, the next 12-18 months. As a result, we’ve looked more deeply at the needs of the business and the fundamental and sustained changes that are required to thrive in the long-term.”

The changes include pausing the Boxfresh brand (which was acquired in 2006) to reduce Pentland’s presence in the footwear market, and resizing its support functions. Pentland Brands has shared this with employees, and is now in consultation with its teams, but expects there to be around 350 redundancies.

CEO Andy Long said: “We know this is going to be a difficult time for our teams, and we’ll be incredibly sad to see some really talented people leave our business over the next few months, but our focus right now is on supporting those people impacted.”

The Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with lower spending, is causing a wave of redundancies in the retail sector. According to reports, Arcadia could scrap as many as 500 head office jobs, while River Island is looking to axe about 250 roles.

Data from the Centre for Retail Research has found that almost 56,000 retail workers have been impacted by insolvencies in the year to date, compared to 46,500 for the whole of 2019.

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