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Woolworths to cut 450 jobs amid buyer hunt: Report

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 06, 2008 18:18 IST
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Collapsed retail chain major Woolworths will slash 450 jobs in what may be its first move towards mass layoff to be witnessed in the coming days, media reports say.

"About 450 head office and support staff are being made redundant by Woolworths as the turmoil surrounding the stricken retail chain's future continues," the Guardian website said.

Deloitte, which has been appointed as the administrator for the collapsed retail chain said that the job cuts would be in Woolworths' Central London and Rochdale offices and not in the 815 stores of Entertainment UK, its DVD and CD distribution business, The Times said.

"Our expectation remains that stores will remain open beyond Christmas and that all staff in the stores will be paid in full," The Times quoted Neville Kahn, the joint administrator and reorganisation services partner at Deloitte as saying.

According to the report, Deloitte, which is trying to find a buyer for the retail chain, said it was decided that there would be no redundancies at Woolworths' high street stores until after Christmas Day, but there was no such promise for administrative staff at the head office.

Further, the Guardian reported that Woolworths, which employs more than 25,000 people, announced job cuts on a day when it saw its best sales day in its 99-years history.

The daily also quoted Kahn as saying that administrators, supported by management, were actively looking for a purchaser for the business as a going concern and discussions were being held with a number of interested parties.

"We are working hard to ensure that any sale of the business, in whole or in part, will preserve jobs," Kahn added.

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