Clarks has announced the launch of its long-term ‘made to last’ strategy that is designed to ensure that Clarks has a “sustainable and successful future”, resulting in around 900 members of staff made redundant.
Making the announcement, CEO Giorgio Presca said that the new strategy aims to deliver a new organisation with an end to end operating model that will enable Clarks to “deliver its strategy in a lean, effective and quick manner”.
He said this will require a total reduction in the company’s global workforce of approximately 900 corporate roles, partially balanced by the creation of around 200 new roles. It is expected that approximately 700 employees will leave the business over 18 months.
As such, he announced 160 immediate redundancies in Clarks’ operations around the world, including 108 at its headquarters in Street, Somerset, and confirmed that the company is actively supporting staff to find alternative employment within or outside of Clarks.
The announcement is the latest phase of Clarks’ ‘made to last’ strategy that began at the end of last year when 170 employees left the business globally.
Presca said: “There are exciting opportunities ahead for our business, and we are having to make some difficult decisions to get there. We thank all affected staff for their contribution to our business and they leave their roles with our heartfelt respect and support.”
In a separate move in March to respond to the impact of Covid-19 health risks, Clarks announced the temporary closure of many of its stores around the world to protect its staff and customers.
Since then the company has begun to reopen in China and in some markets in Europe and is closely following guidance from the governments and health authorities in the UK, US and elsewhere, and is taking appropriate measures to reopen when it is right and safe to do so.
To “prudently” address the short-term liquidity needs caused by the Covid-19 crisis, the Clarks leadership team said it has also been reviewing funding options with selected advisors to confidently position the business to deliver its strategy and enable future growth.
Presca confirmed that Clarks is now concentrating on expanding the use of digital and social channels to connect with consumers as part of its long-term strategy.
He continued: “To ignite our emotional connection with consumers, we have organised Clarks’ brand portfolio across three distinct business units that each represent a unique segment of the shoe market – Clarks Originals, Clarks, Collection and Cloudsteppers by Clarks.
“This is helping us move fast to get ahead of the changes in the ways that our consumers live their lives, so that we are there for them every step of the way.”
He added: “We are a business that walks its own path, and we are evolving to put our brand and consumers at the heart of everything we do. This will ensure that our organisation is made to last, empowering our people to contribute to a great future for the company.”