German retail and wholesale giant Metro Group announced on 20 January, it is to cut 15,000 jobs, (5% of its global workforce) over the next three years. The group will reduce costs by 1.5 billion euro by reducing costs and increasing productivity .
About 4,000 jobs will be shed in Germany at the retailers REAL, Media Markt, Saturn, Galeria Kaufhof and the wholesaler Cash & Carry. There is no information on where the 11,000 global jobs will be cut.
Metro said the cuts were part of a restructuring that would move functions of its purchasing and logistics units to its four central divisions (Cash&Carry, Media Markt/Saturn, Real and Galeria Kaufhof) giving them more operational independence. Retailer REAL shall close 27 of its sites till 2010. Subsidiary Adler, a retailer of apparel, is planned to be sold. IBM shall take over the IT-service division of Media Markt/Saturn. To streamline operations, the headquarter of Metro Group in Düsseldorf will focus on financing and control.
Financial Times quotes chair Cordes saying that Metro is affected by the declining purchasing power of private consumers; but the newspaper notes that Metro Goup is doing better than most competitors. Metro shares jumped by 7% when the job cuts were announced.