Chico's lays off staff at headquarters amid company redesign

Chico's FAS (NYSE:CHS) laid off fewer than 10 employees at its corporate headquarters in Fort Myers, Florida, last week. The move is part of a company overhaul to reshape the brand amid tough times.

The changes are to make sure that the organizational structure is aligned with the needs of the retail market, reported News Press. In April, the company announced a realignment of its marketing and digital commerce functions to better support its brands. Chico's expects the reorganization to reduce fiscal 2016 marketing expenses by $11 million and generate annualized cost savings of approximately $14 million.

in 2011, Chico's announced an expansion of its headquarters and received $3.26 million in county and state incentives in support of the plan, which was going to create 150 new jobs in three years.

Chico's has undergone some corporate unrest as of late. Earlier in June, the company said it would spend about $6 million to fend for two seats of its board against hedge fund Barington Capital Group. CEO Shelley Broader, who joined Chico's in October, is executing a new strategic plan and assured investors that a new election is not necessary beyond the highly experienced members its board has nominated. In fact, the board sent out a letter last week to shareholders, outlining the support of industry analysts of her strategic long-term plan.

The plan includes four focus areas for Chico's FAS. "I am pleased to report that we are successfully executing on that plan and have made numerous positive changes across the company – in strategy, management, operations, finance and governance – with more to come," wrote David Walker, Chico's board chair.

Last year, Chico's also cut 240 corporate management positions.

For more:
- see this News Press story
- see this Chico's press release

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