Saks and Neiman Marcus Announce Major Job Cuts
I mentioned back in November that Saks Fifth Avenue would be cutting capital spending in 2009. We are a few weeks in to the year and Saks Inc. has decided to cut about 1,100 corporate and store positions, which represents nine percent of its total workforce. The company has also taken away merit-based wage increases this year for all employees and suspended 401(k) matching. Saks will also be reducing inventory and trimming other expenses wherever they can.
The reason for all these cuts is the lack on consumer spending. Bloomberg quotes Pete Hastings, a fixed-income analyst with Morgan Keegan & Co. who says that this may only be the beginning of department store cutbacks. After the worst holiday season in around 40 years consumers haven't rushed into the stores in January. Saks posted a 20 percent sales decline in December even after major markdowns on their goods.
Neiman Marcus will also be making some similar changes. The company announced it plans to cut 375 jobs, or 2.3 percent of its workforce a response to their own December slump which saw a 28 percent drop in sales at stores open at least a year.