LONDON, January 6, 2009 (AFP) - Clothing-to-food retailer Marks & Spencer is set to axe more than 1,000 jobs, The Times reported Tuesday, bringing further gloom to the British high street as it struggles under the weight of the downturn.
The newspaper said M&S, which is seen as a barometer of British consumer sentiment, would announce plans to cut nearly 1,000 shop floor jobs and several hundred more posts in head office and support sectors on Wednesday.
Shoppers flocked to heavily-discounted stores over Christmas and the new year, but analysts warned the last-minute spending spree would not be enough to make up the shortfall left by consumers tightening their belts.
Marks & Spencer announced in early November that net profit sank 43 percent in the first half of the year as it faced tough trading, and The Times said year-on-year sales over Christmas fell significantly.
The retailer refused to comment on the newspaper report.