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In Brief: Salomon’s French Cut … Marzotto Shift … Younkers To Shut

<STRONG>SALOMON’S FRENCH CUT:</STRONG> The Salomon division of Adidas-Salomon AG said Monday it will cut about 160 jobs in France during the next two years as it shifts production to Romania and China. The ski and winter sports company, based in...

SALOMON’S FRENCH CUT: The Salomon division of Adidas-Salomon AG said Monday it will cut about 160 jobs in France during the next two years as it shifts production to Romania and China. The ski and winter sports company, based in Annecy, France, will make the cuts as it reduces its level of production in France to 35 percent from 55 percent. Most of the production will go to Romania, while product lines such as inline skates and snowboards will be moved to China, the company said. The eliminations will be made in “close partnerships with the unions,” and will involve retirement packages, job transfers and other measures, Salomon said. The Salomon business, which Adidas bought in 1997, employs some 2,700 people worldwide, more than 1,700 of whom are in France. This division had sales of $532 million in the first nine months of 2004, and accounted for about 8 percent of the German company’s sales of $6.7 billion.

MARZOTTO SHIFT: Marzotto is looking to split its textile and apparel business into two companies through “a partial and proportional split up,” the company said in a statement Monday. The group, which controls Valentino and Hugo Boss, said the change would improve “specific competences” of both businesses and grow the divisions. Marzotto expects to close this transaction by the first half of next year, and said the new company likely will be listed, as is Marzotto.

YOUNKERS TO SHUT: Saks Inc. said Monday it will close a 60,000-square-foot Younkers store at the Old Capital Mall in Iowa City, Iowa, by the end of January. The announcement is consistent with the retailer’s plan to shutter seven underperforming units in its department store group. About 60 employees at the Iowa City store will either be offered transfers or severance packages. Saks operates 19 other Younkers stores in Iowa. Other store closing announcements have included two Parisian stores in Birmingham, Ala., and a McRae’s store in Jackson, Miss. The Birmingham, Ala.-based Saks also said in October that it planned to close eight Saks Fifth Avenue and three Off Fifth locations in its Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises group, most of which through the beginning of 2005. Two SFA location closings, one in Minneapolis and one in Kansas City, have already been announced.