High street household goods retailer Blokker to cut 440 jobs, revamp stores

blokker signHigh street household goods store Blokker is cutting its workforce by 440 in an effort to breathe new life into the format.

In total, 6% of the company’s jobs will go and other jobs will have ‘more flexible working hours’, staff were told at meetings late on Monday.

The revamp follows strong competition from budget stores such as Action and online retailers. ‘In order to remain competitive, we will have to adapt the staffing levels in half our shops,’ director Jack Peters said in a statement.

That means some 250 shops will be revamped and given a ‘new, modern format’. The company has no plans to shut stores at present and will also invest €25m in e-commerce and IT, news agency ANP reported.

The FNV trade union said in a reaction the measures are ‘extremely painful’ and that it wants to know exactly what is meant by ‘more flexible working hours’. Shopworkers’ unions meet Blokker management later today to discuss the plans.

News of the Blokker job losses came on the same day the department store group V&D, its landlords and banks completed a complicated rescue plan to save it from bankruptcy.

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