Base switch leaves shoe firm staff facing uncertain future

Jones Bootmakers' office in Eastbourne where redundancies are being made
Jones Bootmakers' office in Eastbourne where redundancies are being made

MORE than 60 jobs are set to go at Eastbourne-based shoe firm Jones Bootmaker.

The firm, which has its head office in Maple Road, this week announced it was launching a new business plan.

This is likely to result in redundancies at Jones’ Eastbourne base, where 62 jobs could be lost, together with 11 drivers employed by a third party organisation.

The plan involves changes to the warehouse, distribution and finance departments, all currently based in Eastbourne.

As part of the plan, Jones and sister company Brantano will expand an existing warehouse and distribution hub in Leicester, creating ‘a more central location to enable faster supplies to branches of Jones throughout the country’.

The relocation plan will allow Jones, taken over by the Macintosh Retail Group in 2011, to expand with the aim of opening new branches in the future.

A spokesperson from Jones Bootmakers said the company ‘remains firmly committed to Eastbourne’ and around 50 people within other departments will remain in the Maple Road office.

Staff directly affected by the relocation will be offered alternative employment within the company where possible. This may include moving to the new base in Leicester.

The business says it is ‘dedicated to supporting its staff in Eastbourne’ and a specialist company is offering staff advice. It is also hoped they will be kept on until early 2013.

Andrew White, managing director of Jones Bootmaker, said, “It is with regret we have to announce the loss of any positions within our organisation and I would like to reassure those affected that we will do our utmost to help them find alternative employment.

“Jones is an ambitious brand and to realise the full potential of the company’s offer we need to ensure our operation is as efficient as possible.

“Our current warehouse and distribution operation has limited scope for expansion and is not best placed to target our core market areas.

“By relocating those departments to Leicester we will ultimately strengthen the business, helping to build on the brand and employ new staff.

“We will however remain an Eastbourne-based company and I would like to thank all staff for their on-going hard work.”