UK High Street retailer Marks and Spencer announced Tuesday it is set to cut 7,000 jobs over the next 3 months as its clothing business hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer said strong online and home delivery was not enough to offset the fall in trading in the stores which remains well below last year. 

“It is clear that there has been a material shift in trade and whilst it is too early to predict with precision where a new post COVID sales mix will settle, we must act now to reflect this change,” it said in a statement.

The retail giant also noted that the lockdown taught working more flexibly and productively with more colleagues multi-tasking and transitioning between food and clothing and home.

In the eight weeks to Aug. 8, a period during stores had reopened, clothing and home sales were down 29.9% with trends steadily improving, it said.

Store sales slipped 47.9%, while online sales continued to perform strongly, up 39.2%, it added.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.