Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: The January job cuts continue

January 28, 2009

TARGET/Check out the stream of retailers rushing to announce job cuts and charges as they close out their fiscal years.

Late on Tuesday, Target said it would cut jobs, mainly at its headquarters in Minneapolis, while Best Buy (also headquartered in Minneapolis) said it planned involuntary layoffs after too few employees took voluntary exit packages.

The rush to downsize comes as many retailers approach Jan. 31, which marks the end of their fiscal year. With holiday sales at their worst in nearly four decades and the outlook for 2009 dimming by the day, retailers are trying to get the bad news out now so they can take charges in their fourth quarters.USA-HOLIDAYSALES/

The January surge of bad news was not completely unexpected.

In December, Reuters reported that U.S. retailers would speed up a wave of store closures, restructuring and job cuts to get a fresh start for 2009.

One retailer bucking the trend is Asda.

On Wednesday, Britain’s second-biggest grocer, (which is owned by Wal-Mart) said it plans to create about 7,000 jobs this year and committed to recruiting up to 3,000 long-term unemployed people for existing vacancies.

Also in the basket:

Big brands recruiting “Consumer Kids” to sell wares

Luxottica wins license for Tory Burch eyewear

Interstate Bakeries had $19.3 mln cash in December

FEATURE-How green is my wallet? Organic food growth slows

(Reuters photos)

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