Bebe to Cut More Than 50 Jobs

As of Thursday, October 1, 2015

Vertical retailer Bebe Stores Inc. announced Oct. 1 that it would cut 50 jobs, mostly from the company’s design, merchandising and production areas.

Jim Wiggett, Bebe’s chief executive officer, forecast that the San Francisco–area company would save $4.8 million annually due to the cuts. However, he also forecast that the company expects to shoulder $1.5 million in pre-tax costs due to the cuts.

“Following a detailed review of our business, the company made the strategic decision to narrow the merchandise focus and increase emphasis on lifestyle assortments that most closely align with our customers’ needs,” he said in a statement.

“We believe this will position us to maintain a more consistent and better edited offering of fashion that is true to the Bebe brand. While the decision to reduce our workforce did not come easily, it was believed to be in the best long term interest of the company. We appreciate the dedication of the affected employees and thank them for their efforts.”

The company also announced that Bebe founder Manny Mashouf will start working with the company’s design and merchandise groups more closely. Mashouf serves as chairman of Bebe’s board. Until 2013, he was the company’s chief executive officer.

Bebe operates 163 Bebe retail stores, 37 Bebe outlet stores and the on-line store,