Redundancy watch: Redcats, Premier Farnell, Ideal Shopping

Redcats UK has entered into a consultation period with staff and
union representatives regarding potential redundancies. The
parent company of the Daxons, La Redoute, and Vertbaudet
catalogues says it plans to keep its logistics and call centre
operations in the UK, securing 500 jobs in Wakefield. Redcats
also said it aims to invest “to align these operations to
the company’s future development plans and to dispose of surplus
assets”. These assets include the
“overcapacity” at some of its locations following
last year’s sale of Empire Stores to Shop Direct Group. Redcats
expects this consolidation and “downsizing” of the
business to result in the loss of up to 130 jobs across all

Another West Yorkshire-based business also announced
redundancies. Despite posting a 2 per cent rise in third-quarter
sales, to £209.1 million, and a 4 per cent increase in profit
before tax, to £17.7 million, electronic components
distributor Premier Farnell will cut 300 positions worldwide to
ensure it is “appropriately structured for the
future”. Although the company didn’t disclose which
departments were likely to see the most redundancies, it said it
would “realign” its structure to support the
areas-primarily online sales-where it continues to grow. Farnell
expects the annualised benefits of the job cuts to be
approximately £12 million.

And TV-shopping and eCommerce firm Ideal Shopping Direct is
making 15 per cent of its workforce, or approximately 70
employees, redundant. Whilst this action is
“radical,” chief executive Mike Hancox said in a
statement, it is necessary for the business to “improve
sales, efficiency, and reduce costs”. Ideal is projecting a
£4 million loss for the fiscal year to 28th December. For
the six weeks ended 7th December, year-on-year sales plunged 17
per cent and sales for the year to date were “well below
management expectations”. The company’s board has drafted
in KPMG to assist in reviewing its internal accounting processes
and to conduct a full business review.


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