By  on February 24, 2009

In its second round of cuts, women’s apparel retailer Christopher & Banks Corp. said it was letting go of 24 corporate workers as part of a cost-reduction plan designed to save more than $15 million in fiscal 2010, which starts March 1.

The company expects to record a charge of about $325,000 in the fourth quarter of the current year, which ends Feb. 28. Severance and outplacement services will be awarded to the affected employees, which represent about 11 percent of corporate headquarters staff.

Earlier this month, the retailer said it would eliminate 30 district manager jobs in a streamlining of its field management structure. That move, which will result in about $400,000 in fourth-quarter charges, is expected to save about $2 million in 2010.

“We have taken a number of actions to adjust our cost structure in order to strengthen our position in the current economic environment,” said president and chief executive officer Lorna Nagler. “This resulted in some difficult decisions with respect to reducing our current workforce. As we move into fiscal 2010, we will continue to very carefully manage expenses and inventories, as well as preserve our cash.”

The expense cutting measures include the elimination of merit salary increases and match contributions to the 401(k) plan. Store payroll, professional services, independent contractors and travel costs will also be pared.

Shares fell 14 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $4.21 on Monday during New York Stock Exchange trading.

In its third quarter ended Nov. 29, Christopher & Banks had a net loss of $1.4 million, or 4 cents a diluted share, on net sales that declined 7.9 percent to $143 million. Same-store sales were off 14 percent.

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