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Asda

Wilkos

Trade union officials hopeful that Wilko redundancies will be ‘minimal’

Following on from last week’s redundancy consultation period with nearly 4,000 staff at troubled retail chain Wilko, trade union officials hope that the amount of job losses can be minimalised, with GMB officials stating that after meeting Wilko bosses they were hopeful that job loses can be “reduced significantly from the thousands initially feared.”

Wilko, which has over 400 stores across the UK, recently recorded a massive 80% drop in full-year profits and subsequently reviewed its operating functions, with the changes required to “ensure it is best placed to continue to thrive within an ever-changing retail landscape.”

1000 new senior supervisor roles, along with a “significant amount” of customer services roles, would be created as part of the restructure.

Discussing the meeting between Wilko bosses and GMB officials, gary carter, GMB national officer, said: “This was the first of many discussions we will have with the company during the 60-day consultation.

“We will be having further, difficult conversations during the process.

“We’ve had people on the phone to us in tears – people who have been with the company 20 or 30 years.

“We all want to see Wilko as a thriving, sustainable business with a long term future.

“It is vital GMB helps the company keep any job losses to an absolute minimum.

“It is important to ensure adequate staffing levels in their stores to maintain an acceptable level of customer service – and to make sure Wilko staff are paid the living wage.

“We are encouraging Wilko to look at alternative ways to save money, which protect existing job roles.

“It’s a hazy picture at the moment, but we will be looking at each store individually with Wilko.

“There are going to be redundancies, but we are very confident these can be reduced significantly from the thousands initially feared.”

The news of redundancies at Wilko comes hot on the heels of the big three supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, all announcing job cuts as part of an ongoing restructuring strategy.

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Waitrose wins strongest Christmas email campaign title…

The email service provider Mailjet has revealed that Waitrose is ahead of its competitor supermarkets in the email campaign stakes, analysing key metrics including the chain’s subject lines, automation, cross-channel marketing and personalisation.

Reaching a total score of 21.3 points out of an available 29.0, this marks the second consecutive victory for Waitrose in the study and represents a significant improvement on the supermarket’s performance from last year, rising 10 per cent overall.

Mid-market brands Tesco and Asda closely followed Waitrose’s success, hitting 20.0 and 19.9 respectively, however, Marks & Spencer struggled to compete scoring just 17.4 in total.

With regards to emails prospecting new consumer audiences, the research places Morrisons and Sainsbury’s joint last as both failed to send any communications to consumers who haven’t yet purchased through their online shopping platforms.

Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet said: “Consumers buy from the brands they build emotional connections with, particularly during the Christmas season. With low scores in critical areas for digital marketing like personalisation and automation, many supermarkets are not making the most of their emails to engage consumers with powerful storytelling.

As Mailjet suggests there has been much discussion on the importance of campaign personalisation this year, just two of the total eight supermarkets surveyed registered a score above 0.0. Specifically, Asda fell short on the top spot for its lack of personalisation, losing five points by omitting any room to add personal messaging to the email in favour of a singularly product-focused, visual structure.

Scotchmer added: “Winning greater share of the market in run up to Christmas holiday relies on having an online and offline campaign that fires on all cylinders. There are opportunities for all of these brands to learn from one another and broaden their use of digital strategies to engage and build loyalty with consumers at this critical period in the retail calendar.”

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Tesco employees take legal action to acquire lost pay…

In light of 9,500 female Asda workers successfully winning a major step in their battle for equal pay, Tesco is now facing legal action from 17 of its ‘extremely unhappy’ employees who claim they lost wages by working anti-social hours, and targeted by the company’s pay cut strategy introduced in February.

The retailer’s changing pay rates for weekend, bank holiday and night shift staff has sparked outrage, with the law firm Leigh Day – which also represented Asda staff in their case – claiming that long-serving employees in particular are ‘especially angry that they only found out about the decision when news was leaked to the national press in January 2016.’

Leigh Day believes that the pay changes – agreed with staff representatives and the shopworkers’ trade union, Usdaw, could affect up to 38,000 employees.

A spokeswoman for Tesco commented in a statement: “Earlier this year we announced a pay increase of up to 3.1 per cent for colleagues working in our stores across the UK, in addition to a 5 per cent turnaround bonus. As part of the pay negotiations we also agreed to simplify premium payments to ensure a fair and consistent approach for all colleagues. The minority of colleagues who were negatively impacted by this change were supported with an agreed lump sum transition payment.”