Positions will be cut in the design, merchandising, and production areas

Positions will be cut in the design, merchandising, and production areas

US women's wear retailer Bebe Stores is to cut over 50 design, merchandising, and production jobs in a bid to increase efficiencies across business functions.

“Following a detailed review of our business, the company made the strategic decision to narrow the merchandise focus and increase emphasis on lifestyle assortments that most closely align with our customers’ needs,” said CEO Jim Wiggett. “We believe this will position us to maintain a more consistent and better edited offering of fashion that is true to the Bebe brand. While the decision to reduce our workforce did not come easily, it was believed to be in the best long term interest of the company.”

The reorganisation will lead to pre-tax costs of around US$1.5m, and the company anticipates annual cost savings of around $4.8m.

Chairman of the board, Manny Mashouf, will be re-engaged to work with the design and merchandise teams to help guide the initiative, Bebe said. Additionally, the company is maintaining its guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2016, based on current business trends.

“We have seen encouraging trends in the business quarter-to-date,” Wiggett added. “Comparable store sales in September turned positive, and we have largely moved through our underperforming bohemian product. As we prepare for second half of fiscal 2016, we will continue to evaluate our cost structure and capital expenditure requirements.”