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Clarks Puts Over 150 Jobs At Risk Due To Major Financial Losses

Facade of Clarks store

Clarks is considering cutting over 150 jobs after suffering a major financial setback due to weakened consumer demand and rising costs. 

The redundancies are expected to affect staff across its global offices.

This includes the UK headquarters in Somerset and the American head office in Massachusetts.

This latest round of job cuts follows the dismissal of 103 employees in 2023.

Clarks described the move as necessary to protect the progress made in its trading performance over recent years. 

According to its latest financial results, Clarks reported a pre-tax loss of £39.8 million for the year ending December 31.

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It’s a sharp decline from a profit of £35.9 million the previous year.

This is spite of a 1.4 percent increase in sales to £994.5 million.

The loss was exacerbated by one-off costs of £52.8 million, including £41.6 million in-store impairments. 

On an operating basis, Clarks faced a loss of £20.3 million.

“The business and trading environment at the close of 2023 is one of ongoing uncertainty and relative pessimism, especially in the Western hemisphere"

The company attributed this to soft demand in full-price channels, overstocked wholesale partners, a promotional marketplace, and rising product costs.

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Clarks said: “A combination of the above factors has resulted in loss after tax performance short of target expectations and last year’s levels.

“The business and trading environment at the close of 2023 is one of ongoing uncertainty and relative pessimism, especially in the Western hemisphere.”

Recent leadership changes have further added to the company's challenges. 

CEO Jonathan Ram left at the start of last month, followed by the departures of UK and Ireland managing director Bob Neville and chief product officer Victoria Jones. 

Currently, the company is being led by chairman Colin Li and a group of directors, who have formed an interim executive committee to manage the business until new leadership is appointed.

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