BERLIN — Escada plans to reduce its staff by 200 as part of a new strategic program.
The majority of those layoffs — 150 — will involve employees at the corporate headquarters in Aschheim, Germany. Escada employs just under 2,000 worldwide, but does not provide headquarter staff figures.
The German fashion house said the cuts will go into effect over a two-year period, and will primarily involve workers in support services and operations where the brand sees global optimization opportunities. Escada also said it will centralize certain functions at headquarters but did not give further details.
Under the development program called “Journey to Excellence,” Escada aims to improve its omnichannel performance and speed up and streamline its business. Investments in the brand, retail and IT are planned, as well as a “further enhancement of its e-commerce and front-end presence and offering.” The plan also calls for a sharper focus on best practices at retail. There are just under 200 Escada stores and shops worldwide.
“The customer today expects a seamless, omnichannel experience, 24/7, from any device, anywhere,” said Jörg Wahlers, chief operating and interim chief executive officer of Escada. While he acknowledged Escada has already undertaken some restructuring programs in the past, he said, “the reality is these were not enough to optimally position the company for the realities of today’s operating environment.”
As reported in July, Escada’s former ceo, Glenn McMahon, stepped down from his post for personal reasons after less than seven months at the helm. The search for a new ceo is “actively under way,” a spokesperson said.
Under owner Megha Mittal, the brand has not released any sales figures since 2012, when turnover was placed at around 300 million euros, or $385.8 million at average exchange for the period.