La Redoute to shed a third of workforce as part of disposal

PARIS Thu Jan 9, 2014 8:18am EST

PARIS Jan 9 (Reuters) - French luxury goods group Kering's mail order business La Redoute plans to cut its workforce by about a third over the next four years as part of its restructuring, it said on Thursday.

La Redoute is the last retail business Kering, formerly PPR, needs to sell to complete its transformation into a group focused on luxury and sports goods brands, a process which started in 2006 with the disposal of the retailer Printemps.

La Redoute, which sells a wide range of products, from furniture and bed sheets, has been fighting to stem a decline in sales, hit by the proliferation of specialist and discount internet retailers despite its own move online. On Thursday, it said it aimed to see its sales grow again in 2016.

La Redoute told workers it planned first to make 672 staff redundant, confirming unions' worries that some 700 jobs were at risk. The business, which employs around 3,400 in total, said 1,178 jobs would go within the next four years.

It plans to consult with works councils on Jan. 15 and 16.

Last month Kering said it had entered into exclusive talks with La Redoute's chief executive Nathalie Balla and Eric Courteille, chief administrative officer of Redcats, La Redoute's immediate parent.

La Redoute said Kering, which has already injected 400 million euros into La Redoute since 2008, would put in another 315 million euros ($428 million) to finance its losses, restructuring and modernisation. ($1 = 0.7353 euros) (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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