By  on January 27, 2009

LONDON — Fortnum & Mason, the 302-year-old specialty store famous for its luscious picnic hampers and luxury food offering, plans to lay off up to 10 percent of its workforce in a bid to slash costs.

The store said Tuesday it would shortly begin a consultation process with staff. A spokeswoman declined, however, to confirm a report in London's Evening Standard newspaper that up to 55 jobs would be cut. The statement said that "front line operational staff" in retail and hospitality would be largely unaffected.

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