Northampton-based Travis Perkins cutting around 2,500 jobs and closing dozens of branches
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Travis Perkins plans to cut around 2,500 jobs and shut roughly 165 of its branches due to the impending recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK's biggest building materials group, headquartered in Northampton, announced the measures affecting around a tenth of its workforce and shops this morning (Monday, June 15).
Chief executive Nick Roberts said: "Whilst we have experienced improving trends more recently, we do not expect a return to pre-Covid trading conditions for some time.
"Consequently we have had to take the very difficult decision to begin consultations on the closure of selected branches and to reduce our workforce to ensure we can protect the group as a whole.
"This is in no way a reflection on those employees impacted and we will do everything we can to support them during this process.
“The group has a robust balance sheet, strong liquidity position and I am confident that these proposed changes will enable us to trade successfully through this period of uncertainty with a cost base that better reflects the environment we are operating in."
A Travis Perkins spokesman said the branch closures would primarily affect stores where it is either difficult to implement safe working practices or where reduced stock is impacting profits.
As well as Travis Perkins builders merchants, the group also owns Wickes, Toolstation and Tile Giant and is based at Lodge Farm Industrial Estate.
Mr Roberts emailed his staff this morning ahead of the announcement, explaining the reasons behind the restructure.
An employee at the firm, who wished to remain anonymous, said they were surprised the company was taking such drastic measures as they thought things were on the up.
"We always knew in uncertain times like these there will be job losses but it has been unceremoniously announced, the email was quite a read for a Monday morning," they said.
The worker said they have been kept well-informed during the lockdown but the decision to announce job losses publicly at around the same time as to their employees felt odd.
They added they had hoped things were not too bad as share prices were increasing after an initial drop at the beginning of the pandemic.
"Retail is coming back today so it's very strange to be cutting jobs now, but I suppose we thought we had gained more momentum than we had," they said.