‘Certain branches will close’: Countrywide lays out more streamlining plans

Countrywide Plc to close some high street and back-office operations to "build a business that works for the future"

After consolidating its London and Premier operations over the Summer, Countrywide Plc has confirmed a further swathe of streamlining measures designed to focus “on building a business that works for the future.”

“Following a review of our footprint across the UK, the wider financial and operational positions of each branch, their performance and the overall Retail and London business model, certain branches will close over the coming weeks,” wrote the firm’s CEO Alison Platt in an email to staff on Friday. “However, we are committed to retaining as many of our frontline colleagues as we can in their existing positions by helping them relocate to nearby branches.”

At the back-end, “a high proportion of administration tasks” at Countrywide’s Sales Support Centre in Cheadle are to be outsourced, with just a small team being kept on to deal with “more complex administration tasks,” and the firm’s Bridgend B2B centre is being closed, with work being transferred to other centres in Cardiff or Manchester.

There are also unspecified changes to Countrywide’s “People Team.”

Back in August, the Plc announced that its prime London estate agency brands John D Wood & Co and Faron Sutaria are to merge under the John D Wood banner, creating a 51-branch “London powerhouse”, with six additional agencies operating with “further closer collaborations”.

Countrywide reported last week that transaction levels were “significantly” lower than in the previous year, but that its hybrid agency pilot scheme seemed to be successful…  CEO Alison Platt told investors then that “our work to ensure we have fewer, better brands and branches continues at pace.”