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I spoke with Reef President John Wilson this morning about the layoffs at Reef this week and the company's plans to tighten its apparel offering.
John said Reef is refocusing its approach to apparel and is concentrating on the categories that it has had the most success in and fits the best with Reef's DNA. Beginning in Spring 2010, Reef will offer boardshorts, T-shirts, fleece and hats for guys and swim, boardshorts, cover-ups, dresses and T-shirts for girls. All of the girls apparel categories except T's will be licensed to Raj Manufacturing. The guy's apparel will be made and designed in house.
Sportswear categories such as denim, knits and wovens are being eliminated at this time. The loss of jobs came in the men's and women's apparel divisions and supporting areas of the business, John said. He declined to specify the number of jobs eliminated, but described the reduction in headcount as "significant."
John said Reef will continue to market its go-forward apparel offering with team riders, magazine advertising, in-store marketing materials and with other forms of promotion.
"We are not pulling the plug on apparel," he said. "We are focusing on what's working well."
John, right, said the staff reduction was difficult but necessary given the tough economic climate.
"The human component is incredibly difficult because we are a tight-knit group at Reef," he said. "However, it will put our business in a position to succeed in the long term."
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