Cuts Work Force 10%

Staff On Mar 12 2001 - 8:00am

BRISBANE, CALIF. has pink-slipped 24 staffers, or 10 percent of its work force, as part of a companywide retooling in the wake of its first holiday season.

The e-tailer, an 80/20 joint venture between Wal-Mart and Accel Partners, said the cuts were primarily merchandising and marketing jobs, and that it is looking to fill some 50 technical slots in site design and navigation.

The merchandising layoffs were tied to a decision to drop a number of low-ticket categories such as cosmetics and convenience foods, and large high-ticket items including propane grills and pool tables, whose high shipping costs rendered them unattractive to online shoppers.

CEO Jeanne Jackson said the company would instead give greater emphasis to higher-margin, and more shippable, categories such as consumer electronics, jewelry and toys.

Jackson noted that the changes were designed to conserve cash during the current economic environment while making the website more robust.

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