Selfridges Set to Trim London HQ Workforce, Laments Absence of Tax-Free Shopping

May 9, 2024

Luxury department store Selfridges is set to reduce its London head office staff by around 70 positions. This decision comes as a response to market conditions and the changing needs of customers, according to the company.

Selfridges clarified that these redundancies will not affect its store teams. The move is part of the company’s efforts to adapt to shifts in the international and digital landscape, as well as the absence of a tax-free shopping scheme in the UK, which has notably impacted international sales.

A spokesperson for Selfridges stated that the proposed reduction represents approximately a two per cent decrease in the overall headcount. However, the company aims to provide redeployment opportunities for some of the affected employees.

The announcement follows recent reports of potential takeover bids for Selfridges, with Chinese and Middle Eastern investors expressing interest amid financial challenges faced by the store’s co-owner, Signa Holdings. Central Group, the other co-owner, is reportedly exploring options to acquire Signa’s stake in the business, engaging in discussions with sovereign wealth funds and other potential partners.