Monday, September 21, 1998 Published at 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Littlewoods slashes staff
Up to £6m has been put aside for the redundancy payouts
About 500 managers in Littlewoods, the football pools, retail and catalogue empire, are receiving letters early this week offering them voluntary redundancy terms.
The move is part of plans to cut 20% of its head office managers as the retail and catalogue operations in Liverpool merge on one site early next year.
Spokesperson Stephanie Riatoul said Littlewoods hope up to about 50 staff will apply.
"We have no specific targets. It is part of our plan to pursue a retail integrated strategy."
The Littlewoods group is mid-way through a restructuring programme under new chief executive Barry Gibson, designed to improve the group's financial performance.
The group is also planning to simplify its pay and benefits structure, including cutting the company's fleet of 700 cars.
The group has been dogged by a series of rows between the members of the Moore family, which own the group, and its managers over the past few years.
The group has also announced plans to strengthen its board.
Susan Murray, who ran the Smirnoff vodka brand for Grand Metropolitan PLC will become marketing director. David Hallett has joined from Argos PLC as information technology director.
The search is continuing for a new finance director to replace Jim Michie, who has moved to become corporate development director.