Jobs already axed at Hartlepool’s new Dunelm Mill store

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A STORE which took on 50 staff when it opened its doors just two months ago has already cut its workforce.

Ahead of the opening of Dunelm Mill, in Highpoint Retail Park, in April a staggering 800 jobseekers applied for just 50 roles in the store.

But a number of those members of staff have already been “released”, while others have had their hours cut.

Rachael Miller, PR and marketing manager for Dunelm Mill, said: “On opening a new store we are in need of extra support and therefore take on higher than normal staffing levels.

“Part of the team are employed on fixed term contracts during this period and the people being released now are simply reaching the end of these contracts. We regularly review the number of hours worked in each of our stores and flex them based on seasonality and local conditions as good retailing practice.

“Since the store has opened trading has gone well. The good news is that we have been able to retain some temporary colleagues taking our overall colleague numbers ahead of our original plan for our Hartlepool store.”

George Cain, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers’ area organiser, said: “Unfortunately stores do often employ more people than they need to start with because they don’t know what the cost flow is going to be like.

“But you can’t work for just a few hours a week on or around the minimum wage and be able to pay bills each month.”