US company Designer Brands, which sells designer brand shoes and fashion accessories, recently announced that it is reducing and reassigning a portion of its workforce because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will eliminate over 1,000 positions—approximately 380 corporate office and 700 store positions, the company said in a statement.
The decision was partly a result of months-long closure of much of the retail sector’s physical stores, impacting its North American stores. While online orders were strong during the closures, e-commerce/digital sales cannot make up for in-store sales, chief executive officer Roger Rawlins said in the statement.
More than 550 store associates will be given the opportunity to remain with the company in a different role within the new organisational structure or they may choose to leave.
And while most stores have reopened, consumers’ in-store shopping habits haven’t returned to the prior normal, he said.
The company has deferred new store openings and is working to streamline its footprint to reduce occupancy expenses. The company is also making some structural changes to its business.