Struggling Dutch retailer Laurus NV has said that it plans to reduce the number of office functions in order to align the company after the recent sale of the Edah and Konmar chains. The company also said that it intends to close its distribution facility at Waddinxveen. A total of 490 jobs will be lost as a result of this cutback programme.

A spokesperson for the company told just-food that the cuts were needed to improve Laurus' financial performance. "The job losses are a regrettable necessity if we are to secure the future financial stability and sustainability of the company," the spokesperson commented.

The company said that the cost-cutting programme will reshape Laurus into an "effective and lean organisation" with an overhead and logistic structure suitable for the size of its present and future retail operations. 

The company expects to shed between 265 and 270 full time office employees in the next few months. The closure of the distribution centre will result in a further 225 job losses.

The company will close its office Hertogenbosch and relocate all head office functions to its existing office facility in Amersfoort, where its remaining retail outlet Super de Boer is administrated. This move is expected to be completed by the end of the year. 

Consultation of the works council and trade unions on the plans has been started, the company said.

Laurus stock price fell 7.33% to EUR1.77 (US$2.25) in morning trade today (2 October), amid rumours that the company's sale of Konmar and Edah will cost considerably more than initially anticipated. Reports had been circulating that the sale of the two formats could result in EUR65m in costs, considerably more than the EUR39m first predicted by the company. Laurus declined to comment on these figures.