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Online fashion retailer Zalando to cut hundreds of jobs

FILE PHOTO: The logo of fashion retailer Zalando is pictured at the new headquarters in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) -German online fashion retailer Zalando is to cut hundreds of jobs across the company, citing over-expansion in some areas and a more difficult economic environment since the coronavirus pandemic.

Zalando said the pandemic had boosted business in 2020 and 2021, but these tailwinds had faded since 2022 and the macroeconomic environment had become more challenging.

"We have decided to start a programme that will remove several hundred overhead roles across many of our teams," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Over the last few years, some parts of our company have expanded too much and we have added a degree of complexity to our organisation that impacted our ability to act fast."

Zalando, which has a workforce of some 17,000, did not give precise details on which areas would be affected by the cuts.

"This program will involve many parts of Zalando, including at the senior leadership level" it added

But the company said frontline operations roles in logistics centres, customer care and outlet stores, as well as operational roles in Zalando Studios would not be affected.

The planned job cuts were first reported by the Financial Times, which said the online retailer's workforce would shrink by up to 5%.

Zalando's shares were down 1.6% at 1448 GMT.

In its third-quarter earnings report in November, Zalando said it expected full-year revenues and operating profit to reach the lower end of its target range, citing sluggish consumer sentiment and high inflation. The company is due to report full-year earnings next month.

Credit Suisse analysts said: "3Q showed some progress around profit protection/inventory management and we expect more at 4Q. Potential margin upside but lower revs (revenues)".

(Reporting by Hakan Ersen, Rachel More, Tristan Chabba and Ozan Ergenay, Writing by Matthias Williams, Editing by Miranda Murray and Jane Merriman)