Ralph Lauren and Brookfield Properties Announce Retail Layoffs

The “wait and see” approach had a deadline.

After weeks of not writing the words “slashing headcount” in Retail Brew, staffing updates from two major players left me no choice. 

Brookfield Properties will cut around 20% of its 2,000 retail division employees, CNBC reports. The mall owner may have saved JCPenney from liquidating, but that was an exception to the storefront norm:

  • Brookfield collected only a third of retail tenants’ rent during the last quarter.
  • The company told employees reducing staff reflects the “future scale of our portfolio.” 

Ralph Lauren will lay off 15% of its global workforce (around 3,700 employees) by next March. CEO Patrice Louvet told Bloomberg it had already planned to shrink its team as part of an e-commerce oriented overhaul; two straight quarters of sales shrink convinced it to act faster. I hope the Bitmoji are worth it.

My takeaway: The “wait and see” approach to pandemic downsizing has a deadline. Without a complete retail sales rebound, companies that avoided layoffs or furloughs in the spring may have to implement them soon.

Via Morning Brew

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