Benetton to Trim Workforce

The company is restructuring its operations and is expected to let go of about 130 employees.

MILAN — Benetton Group is setting in motion its three-year program to restructure its operations and grow its business and is expected to let go of about 130 employees, according to a market source.

As first reported in December, the group plans to further grow its United Colors of Benetton and Sisley brands and to divest its other labels, including Jean’s West, Killer Loop, Anthology of Cottons and Playlife, by the end of the year. As per this strategy, all stores managed directly by the group that operate under the Playlife retail brand, where such labels are currently primarily distributed, and their related business and support structure will close.

“Our group has the potential to be a leader in the markets in which it operates. We own one of the most significant brands in the history of global fashion, United Colors of Benetton, which is also one of the most renowned and respected brands in all key markets for apparel,” said chief executive officer Biagio Chiarolanza. “This is why the three-year program that this management team is implementing above all involves the continuous improvement of our entire retail network, as well as other initiatives aimed at strengthening our business by focusing on where we see the most potential for growth.”

Benetton is streamlining its structure to become more competitive and improve its profitability, with plans to exit about 60 countries that are no longer deemed strategic.

In November, Alessandro Benetton, chairman of the family-owned group, decided to create and differentiate three new areas at the company — managing brands, manufacturing and real estate. At the end of the process, all three entities will be directly controlled by Edizione Srl, the holding company of the Benetton family.

The company will increasingly differentiate the United Colors of Benetton and Sisley brands and their operations, and concentrate its investments in directly owned flagship and key stores. It plans to roll out a franchising program for key stores managed by third parties and radically improve its retail network, in particular with new formats for the United Colors of Benetton and Sisley units now nearing their launch. The group will also further develop its accessories and additional licences, following the fragrance revealed last year with the Puig Group.