LK Bennett to cut wages by 10%

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The womenswear retailer has reviewed its head office pay structure as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and has decided to reduce some employees’ work hours and salary by 10%. 

Those impacted have been consulted, and the reduction will be effective from 1 July. A review of the changes are expected to take place in six month’s time.

It comes after LK Bennett axed 10 senior managers in teams across finance, IT, HR, and design last month. 

Meanwhile, the retailer is still mulling the future of its London-based head office. The lease is due to be renewed in October. 

LK Bennett plans to reopen seven stores on 15 June when the coronavirus lockdown measures are relaxed. The other ten stores in its portfolio will be open at a later date. 

Darren Topp, LK Bennett CEO, told Drapers: “The rest of our stores are ready to open, but we are waiting to see what the reaction from customers is like on Monday. We are not planning to permanently close any stores. In fact, if we find any stores we like in good locations then we might even consider opening more.” 

The retailer appointed EY as administrator of its UK business on 7 March. On 12 April Rebecca Feng, who ran LK Bennett’s Chinese franchises, bought the UK, Ireland and wholesale business of the premium womenswear retailer for £9.8m under the company Byland UK. 

Earlier this year the administrators extended the company’s administration process for a further year, due to “property matters” and other remaining work that needs to be completed.  

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