Coronavirus: Upper Crust proprietor says as much as 5,000 UK jobs might go

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An Upper Crust sandwich shop kiosk at London's Waterloo Station.Image copyright Getty Images

Upper Crust proprietor SSP Group says as much as 5,000 jobs might be reduce throughout its UK shops and head workplace, because it struggles with the discount in passenger travel.

The agency stated international gross sales in April and May had been 95% beneath the earlier yr’s.

SSP has 580 shops throughout the UK, principally at railway stations and airports, however fewer than 10 are at present open.

The firm expects solely one-fifth of its UK shops to be open by the autumn.

It joins a rising record of corporations slashing jobs because the UK economic system suffers its worst contraction in 41 years.

“Covid-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact on the travel industry and on SSP’s businesses in all geographies,” stated SSP Group chief govt Simon Smith.

“We are beginning to see early signs of recovery in some parts of the world and are starting to open units as passenger demand picks up. However, in the UK the pace of the recovery continues to be slow,” he stated.

While SSP operates throughout greater than 30 international locations, together with the US, India and China, the job cuts are solely being made at its UK enterprise.

At this time of yr, the corporate would usually make use of about 9000 individuals throughout the UK. Staff have been enrolled on the government-paid furlough scheme all through the coronavirus disaster.

The firm stated it had deliberate to reopen UK shops as passenger demand returned, including: “The reality is that passenger numbers still remain at very low levels.”

Mr Smith stated the agency would swiftly reopen UK items if there have been improved gross sales over the summer time.

In an announcement, the corporate stated it had entry to round £750m in liquidity and it was assured it had enough funds to permit it to function “throughout even its most pessimistic scenario”.

SSP employs round 39,000 workers worldwide throughout 2,800 shops. Last month, it stated it had suffered “extremely low sales” after the coronavirus pandemic pressured it to close some branches.

As effectively as Upper Crust bakeries, SSP owns a lot of manufacturers together with deli operator Camden Food Co. and luxurious bar chain Cabin, which has shops in airports and prepare stations.