• Home
  • News
  • Business
  • Q1 of 2024 marked by series of job cuts

Q1 of 2024 marked by series of job cuts

By Rachel Douglass


Scroll down to read more


Brighton, UK. Credits: Unsplash.

The first quarter of the year has outlined the tough reality of the current market, with last year’s challenging financial period leaving many companies with no option but to initiate strategic reviews. And, as part of this process, inevitably the question of jobs comes into play, with roles, departments and geographies coming under the microscope of cost-saving initiatives. Here are some of those that have already had to make that tough move.

John Lewis

John Lewis Horsham store Credits: JLP

Retail group John Lewis Partnership has been navigating a tricky period the past few years, and while it reported that it had returned to profit during 2023, this hasn’t stopped the company from making further efforts to cut costs. Media speculation surrounding potential job cuts first arose in January, when the Guardian reported that the partnership was considering cutting 11,000 staff jobs in the next five years. Later in March, CEO Nish Kankiwala also hinted that jobs could be cut following the “few hundred” that had been dismissed last year as part of additional cost savings.


Beauty and tech firm THG was also subject to media speculation on the same topic earlier in the year. A report by the Warrington Guardian suggested that the company was set to axe around 160 jobs across both its technology subsidiary, e-commerce platform and Warrington warehouse as part of an ongoing turnaround strategy.


Credits: Ebay

An internal memo from CEO Jamie Iannone that had been publicly shared in January and revealed that the resale marketplace Ebay was to cut its workforce by 9 percent, resulting in the loss of around 1,000 jobs. The move came due to a “challenging macroeconomic environment” that led the firm to reduce its headcount and expenses which had “outgrown” the business.

N Brown Group

As part of a transformation programme, N Brown Group announced it would be cutting an undisclosed number of jobs at its head office in Manchester – Drapers reported around 35 roles were expected to be eliminated. The fashion company said that the move was due to the continued evolution of its operating model, which has resulted in a small number of roles being put at risk of redundancy.

The Body Shop

The Body Shop Bond Street store Credits: The Body Shop

One of the biggest high street downfalls of the year has been that of The Body Shop, the UK arm of which fell into administration at the beginning of February and later led to the company preparing to shutter 75 stores across the UK. This, combined with a series of possible redundancies in its head office, has put at risk almost 800 job roles across the firm. The company is now said to be exploring a possible CVA in an attempt to rescue the business.


Following Frasers Group’s acquisition of Matches – formerly Matchesfashon – in mid-December 2023, the luxury e-tailer reportedly made 273 of its employees redundant after appointing restructuring firm Teneo. While the CEO and CFO were said to be among those believed to have been dismissed, other roles were understood to be within the buying, communications, analytics and marketing departments.


Weeks after stating that it was to make a 200 million pound investment to increase employee pay, British supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s announced it would be slashing 1,500 roles as part of a cost-saving strategy. Among the retailer’s plans are that of simplifying its Store Support Centre, creating more efficient Contact Centre operations and consolidating its general merchandise fulfilment network. At the time of the announcement, CEO Simon Roberts said that the proposals were important to ensure a better set up to focus on making real impact.


José Neves, founder and former CEO of Farfetch. Credits: Farfetch.

Following what could be considered a messy descent into a rescue plan, defined by disgruntled investors and a winding up petition, Farfetch was believed to have also slashed up to 30 percent of its workforce days after announcing that its CEO and founder José Neves revealed his exit. The retailer’s new owner, Coupang, went on to detail its plans for Farfetch, revealing that the company would actually remain in the backseat of the South Korean firm’s operations while it pursues a larger market share in its home country.


Sportswear giant Nike confirmed mounting speculation that it is to lay off 2 percent of its workforce in February, a move that came shortly after the launch of a strategy designed to streamline the business in the year prior. In an internal memo to employees, CEO John Donahoe said the decision to “right-size” the organisation would see the company move towards its “biggest growth opportunities as interest in sport, health and wellness have never been stronger”.

Boohoo Group

While tackling allegations revealed in a damning BBC Panorama investigation, Boohoo Group also set about reducing its workforce. The company revealed that it was planning to close its Daventry warehouse, placing 400 jobs at risk, according to Drapers. The news came just one month after it was revealed that Boohoo was also planning to close its Wellingborough distribution centre, where a further 420 employees were put at risk.

Ted Baker

Ted Baker store. Credits: Ted Baker

In what resulted in the latest round of industry job cuts, Ted Baker announced this week that it was to close 15 of its stores in the UK as part of the administration process of its UK operator No Ordinary Designer Label (NODL). As such, 220 store-based redundancies are expected to be carried out, alongside 25 head office roles that have also been cut. According to Teneo, the appointed administrator, the closing stores are “all currently loss-making” and, following a review, are “deemed to have no prospect of being returned to profitability, even with material rent reductions”.

Read more:
John Lewis
N Brown
Ted Baker
The Body Shop