PetSmart laid off 176 employees at its Phoenix headquarters yesterday.
Company spokeswoman Erin Gray confirmed to New Times that the layoffs came as part of PetSmart's "broad cost reduction program."
According to the latest ranking of Arizona's biggest companies, PetSmart is the state's 36th-biggest employer, with more than 3,700 employees -- not including these layoffs.
Here's the entire statement we got from PetSmart corporate:
As we announced on our Q2 call, PetSmart is implementing a multi-faceted plan aimed at driving future growth and profitability. The plan includes a variety of performance improvement initiatives that will allow the company to deliver near and long-term results and continue to deliver strong returns for shareholders. To that end, the company has embarked on a broad cost reduction program that will fundamentally restructure its cost base. The program targets all areas of the business, including cost of goods sold, logistics, sourcing, store operating costs and overhead.
As part of this program, a total of 176 support group and field leadership positions have been impacted, which equates to nearly 10 percent of store support group and field leadership positions. The company expects to realize savings of the overall cost reduction program before the end of fiscal 2015 and will provide additional details about the program and targets at the end of the third quarter.
(According to PetSmart's corporate division website, "We call it a support group because we operate to support our stores and distribution centers in providing the best possible service and care to our pet parents and their pets.")
A former employee tells us the cuts ranged from people in PetSmart's merchandising division, to human resources, the store operations division, and even some administrative assistants, plus others.
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The Arizona Republic -- which identifies PetSmart as the state's fourth-largest company by revenue -- reported last month that selling the company was under consideration.
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