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Head office staff cuts at Gas

Italian denim brand Gas is to slash its head office staff numbers by more than 10% because of difficult trading conditions.

The brand, which is owned by the Grotto group, is expected to cut at least 70 jobs out of 650 after sales fell 7.5% to 137 million (£108.3m) in 2007.

The Grotto group said it planned to restructure its head office and reassign key design, sales and retail positions within the company to “experienced managers”.

Last year, Claudio Grotto, the founder of Gas, said he planned to double its sales to 300m by 2010, and it has recently opened stores in Europe and Asia. However, recent investments are not thought to have generated the budgeted returns because of the retail slowdown.

Grotto said: “The difficult global economic conditions and the general slump in consumption have prevented us reaching our goals in terms of returns on the investments we made.”

Gas managing director Franco Scarpetti will lead the restructuring. He said: “The plan will allow Grotto to reach the targets of its 2008-11 plan.”

The Grotto group said it had no plans to sell the company. Gas has 120 stores and the brand is stocked by 2,400 retailers in 56 countries.

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