Talbots Inc. said it would reduce its corporate headcount by about 9 percent, producing roughly $14 million in annual savings. The move will eliminate a total of 129 positions, 104 of which are currently filled.

Among those losing their job is Philip Kowalczyk, chief operating officer, who will leave in early July. His responsibilities will be absorbed by other executives at the firm.

Talbots is in the midst of streamlining its business and, in April, said Bank of America and HSBC were pulling lines of credit. “It was clearly a difficult strategic decision to reduce our corporate staffing levels, but it was an important and necessary step towards strengthening our organization for the long term,” said Trudy Sullivan, president and chief executive officer. “We are making every effort to assist the affected employees in making a successful career transition.”

In all, severance and other expenses related to the headcount reduction are expected to weigh in at about $5.9 million. The specialty retailer also stood by its 2008 earnings outlook for core operations of 47 to 52 cents a diluted share.

For complete coverage, see Friday’s issue of WWD.

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