Talbots Cuts Corporate Staff in New Cost-Reduction Program
Hingham, Mass. The Talbots announced Thursday that it has implemented a new $150 million expense-reduction program to better position the company for the future. The program includes the reduction of approximately 370 corporate-level positions across all locations, representing approximately 17% of the chain’s corporate headcount. The move is expected to result in savings of approximately $22 million in fiscal 2009.
Talbots president and CEO Trudy F. Sullivan said: “We remain confident in our strategic plan and in the long-term value of our franchise. In that regard, today we are announcing two key initiatives that will help facilitate the successful implementation of our strategy and better position Talbots to emerge a stronger company when the economy improves and consumer spending returns. Specifically, we are refinancing for longer term liquidity and restructuring for near-term productivity.”
The company has also reduced its planned capital expenditures, net of construction allowances, for fiscal 2009 to approximately $23 million. Its 2009 planned capital expenditures will support the rollout of its new upscale outlet stores, the platform refresh of its e-commerce site and renovation and refurbishment of some of its existing store base.
Talbots said it has identified approximately 20 underperforming Talbots stores that it plans to close in fiscal 2009. Many of the locations have leases that will expire or otherwise terminate in fiscal 2009.
In related news, Talbots announced that Aeon Co., Ltd., which through its wholly owned subsidiary is the company’s majority shareholder, has committed to provide Talbots a $200 million unsecured term loan facility, maturing at Talbots option for a period of up to three years from closing, to pay in full the company’s existing acquisition debt.
The chain said that the new $200 million term loan facility agreement, when closed, will be used to repay all of the outstanding indebtedness under the agreement related to its acquisition of J.Jill in 2006. The new loan facility is in addition to Talbots’ existing working-capital borrowing capacity of $215 million, of which $200 million has been committed.
Talbots also announced that in light of the deteriorating economic environment, it has implemented a new $150 million expense-reduction program to better position the company for the future. These include a reduction of approximately 370 corporate level positions across all locations, representing approximately 17% of the company’s corporate headcount, expected to result in savings of approximately $22 million in fiscal 2009.
Safeway offers heart health screenings
PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway is offering free blood pressure, BMI (body mass index), and cholesterol level screenings at store pharmacies to promote heart health and prevent the number one killer of women – heart disease.
As part of the company’s “Love Your Heart” campaign, a wellness program to draw attention to the importance of knowing the risk factors of heart disease, Safeway expects to conduct 36,000 free heart health screenings nationwide. The free screenings are available to women and men and will take place from Feb. 4 through Feb. 24 in Safeway pharmacies, including Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s and Carrs pharmacies.
“Most women are unaware that heart disease claims more women’s lives than any other disease or illness. Only 8%of women consider it the biggest threat to their health,” said Dave Fong, SVP pharmacy. “Our goal is to educate women about the risk factors and help them take control of their health.”
The screenings, a $40 value, are sponsored by Safeway, Campbell Soup Company, Kellogg’s, Healthy Choice, Diet Coke, Fresh Express, StarKist, Barilla PLUS, and Health Magazine. Screenings will be conducted by nurses or pharmacists at store pharmacies.
Walmart celebrates Black History Month
BENTONVILLE, Ark. Walmart is celebrating Black History Month this year by offering customers complimentary “Profiles and Pride” and “Black History Timeline” pamphlets at select stores. The pamphlets provide insightful black history information ideal for schools, organizations or individuals.
“This year’s Black History Month theme encourages our associates and customers to honor the positive impact African Americans have made throughout our nation’s history,” said Esther Silver-Parker, SVP corporate affairs. “Our company continues to be committed to the communities it serves through education, opportunity and celebration, and our campaign to celebrate black history throughout the year is perfectly aligned with this commitment. We proudly engage in initiatives to celebrate black history and we encourage our customers to join us in making this a year-round observance.”
To help parents and children increase their knowledge of black history, select Walmart stores nationwide and Walmart.com will feature the GEEBEE Black Heritage SeriesTM games and puzzles. The offerings will include an African counting game, a game about The Underground Railroad, black history trivia games, and an assortment of puzzles.
In an effort to stay connected to its African-American customers, Walmart’s “Our Voice” Web site offers resource information for families to enjoy throughout the year. The Web site – www.wmourvoice.com -provides an online platform for reinforcing the company’s black history message through games and useful information. Users can enjoy an online version of the GEEBEE Black Heritage SeriesTM games and puzzles or access the site to obtain updated information about Wal-Mart’s corporate initiatives supporting the African-American community. Walmart has also established a partnership with ancestry.com, which allows them to offer an interface on the site to aid users in tracing their family genealogy.