Citing weak economic conditions, Adidas AG said it eliminated about 310 jobs at its Reebok subsidiary in North and Latin America.
This story first appeared in the January 16, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The bulk of this week’s pink slips — 100 positions — were at the corporate headquarters in Canton, Mass., where 1,100 employees remain. The brand also cut 65 jobs in its Indianapolis office, which specializes in sports licensing, and 60 jobs in its Montreal outpost, housing Reebok Canada and Reebok CCM Hockey. More layoffs were made at other facilities.
Reebok employs 8,500 people worldwide.
“With the current economic conditions and the realities of our business, we have taken the necessary steps to bring our cost structure in line with our 2009 targets,” said Ulrich Becker, president and chief executive officer of Reebok International. “This is a difficult day for all of us.”
The brand does not anticipate more job cuts this year, but it is taking a wait-and-see approach, a Reebok spokesman said.
Most of the employees “come from sales, operations and marketing in our office in Canton, Mass.,” said Kirsten Keck, corporate public relations manager for Adidas AG.
Adidas said the move was “an inevitable step” in making the Reebok organization leaner, more flexible and more profitable.
The German sportswear label has a global workforce of 37,000 and aims for that to remain stable in the year ahead, the Reebok spokesman said.
Adidas AG this week reduced the workforce at the headquarters of its TaylorMade unit in Carlsbad, Calif., by 70 people.
Portland, Ore.-based Adidas America last spring cut 25 staffers when the credit service and customer service departments were relocated to Spartanburg, S.C., where the company recently expanded a distribution center for apparel and is putting the finishing touches on one for footwear. Adidas executives have been busy interviewing job candidates, said David Cordeau, president and ceo of the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce.