JOBS QUELLED: KarstadtQuelle, Europe’s largest department store and mail-order group, announced plans over the weekend to cut 4,000 jobs in its German department store division over the next two years. As of May, the company has a new chief executive, Christoph Achenbach, who initiated the strategic review of Karstadt’s department store, mail order, specialty store and tourism business divisions. The company, which has been under growing pressure from an ongoing sales slump in Germany, hopes to save about 145 million euros, or $178 million at current exchange, from the move. Karstadt currently employs about 47,000 (37,500 full time) in its 212 Karstadt department and Karstadt Sport stores. The administrative department will be most heavily hit by the cuts, where 2,500 jobs are to be slashed. Karstadt’s department and specialty store sales declined 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2004.
VIOT JOINING LLADRO: Alain Viot, director of business development for luxury brands at Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, is leaving his post to join Lladró’s board and act as chief executive officer of its giftware division. Viot will begin this new post Sept. 1, and will focus on strategies for design, production and worldwide sales. Viot will move from his home in London to Valencia, Spain, where Lladró is headquartered.Viot had been with Richemont, which counts Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget and Montblanc among its holdings, for more than 10 years in various capacities. Prior to becoming its director of business development in 2002, he had served two years as president and ceo of Cartier Inc. in New York. He was replaced by Stanislas de Quercize. Before taking over Cartier’s North American division, Viot was president and ceo of Cartier Spain, where he oversaw the Cartier operations and those of several other brands in the Iberian peninsula.