WATCH WOES: Compagnie Financière Richemont has confirmed it is planning to cut up to 350 jobs from its watch manufacturing operations in Switzerland.
A spokeswoman for the company confirmed newspaper reports about the cuts. Last week, Swiss paper Le Temps cited an internal memo from Richemont stating the company would be laying off up to 4 percent of its Swiss workforce.
Richemont is the second-largest luxury goods group after LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. It employs about 9,000 people in Switzerland. Its stable includes Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Panerai, Piaget and Montblanc.
According to the newspaper, the memo said Richemont would try to “limit the downsizing as far as possible” by reallocating those affected to other company-owned brands.
The decision to reduce its workforce comes amid ongoing difficulties for the Swiss watch market as a whole, including the strong Swiss franc, fewer tourists and a downturn in the wholesale watch market in China and Hong Kong.