Byline: Samantha Conti

MILAN — Giorgio Armani SpA said Monday it has laid off 28 employees from its U.S. retail, communications and merchandising divisions.
The layoffs result from the troubled American economy and efforts to streamline operations following the buyback of its Armani Collezioni license from GFT Net. Giorgio Armani U.S. employs a total of 945 people.
“The decision coincides with the economic situation in the U.S.,” an Armani spokesman told WWD. “Since acquiring the license from GFT, we are also looking to make ourselves more efficient with regard to our U.S. operations.”
While he did not rule out future layoffs, the Armani spokesman said the decision to let the workers go was “significant” and “not something you do every day.” He said the jobs cut were mostly ones that Armani had inherited when it bought back the license and the GFT Armani Collezioni structure about 18 months ago. Of the 28 positions, five already were vacant and three of the people laid off have been relocated.
“We had been looking at those jobs since the acquisition, looking at certain duplications in responsibilities resulting from our acquisition of GFT. In the end, we needed to assess our organizational structure and make ourselves more efficient,” he added.
Armani’s move comes on the heels of a decision by Gucci to lay off some 130 U.S. employees due to the economic slowdown.

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