PARIS — Dufry Group, the world’s largest travel-retail operator, announced Wednesday a global restructuring program to help allay the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Basel, Switzerland-based company said the program aims to reduce personnel expenses by 20 percent to 35 percent between June and October, taking into account the different possibilities of full-year sales declines, which could run from 40 percent to 70 percent, as formerly announced on May 12.
On that day, too, Dufry said its sales in April, in reported terms, declined 94.1 percent due to widespread travel restrictions, and the group withdrew its full-year guidance for 2020, citing low visibility.
Dufry said Wednesday the program will include early retirements, hold-backs of seasonal staff employment, contributions from government support schemes and a reduction of jobs in all levels of the organization and geographical locations.
“Due to consultation procedures in several countries, it is currently not possible to provide details on the number and locations of the positions concerned,” Dufry said in the statement.
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Dufry’s actions serve as a bellwether of how hard the travel-retail industry’s business is being hit by the COVID-19 crisis, as tourism in most parts of the world ground to a complete halt for a couple of months. How quickly the channel resumes operations, and people begin taking short- and long-haul trips again, will have a major impact on the business of luxury beauty brands, which make up travel retail’s number-one product category.