NEW YORK — Looking to slash expenses in a difficult retail environment, Elie Tahari announced Thursday the company has laid off about 70 employees, 25 percent of its staff.
The cuts, which were handed down last week, were across the board, designer and principal Elie Tahari said, from the executive suite to workers in the shipping and sample-making departments.
“It’s painful when you work with someone for 25 years and tell them that we’re reorganizing the company and I have to let you go,” he said in a phone interview.
The laid-off employees were given up to six months severance, he added, with a stipulation that they could return to work once the economy improves. One of those let go was Bob Goldsmith, president of new business development, whom Tahari called his “right-hand man.”
Tahari said fall selling at retail dropped dramatically after Sept. 11.
“We depended on September to turn our business around,” Tahari said. “[Fall] is the biggest season of the year.”