French retail and luxury conglomerate PPR, which reports its fourth-quarter and 2008 results today, said Wednesday it plans to trim the workforce at its Conforama and Fnac chains amid a deteriorating consumer environment. The Conforama furniture chain, which has seen its market share and profitability eroding, said it would reduce about 800 jobs by 2010 to reduce annual costs by 50 million euros, or $63 million at current exchange rates. PPR said fourth-quarter sales at Conforama’s network of 241 stores fell 8.3 percent. Fnac, which sells books, music and electronics, intends to shed about 400 positions in a program to reduce costs by 35 million euros, or $44.3 million. The 145-unit chain highlighted a drop in demand for technical products.
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