*Etoys Slashes Staff by 60 Percent

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This is not a good week for eToys. A day after saying that it was shutting down its United Kingdom site, eToys late yesterday fired about 380 workers with another 320 served notice that their jobs will end on March 31.


Those fired include both eToys and Baby Center employees.


The company also announced plans to cease warehouse operations in Commerce, CA., and Greensboro, NC, during the next two months. It also said it would consolidate those operations within eToys' existing distribution centers in Ontario, CA., and Blairs, VA.


The action comes on the heels of a Dec. 15 announcement in which the company said that revenues for the holiday quarter would be significantly less than earlier projections. It blamed a harsh retail climate and the "disfavor of Internet retailing."


At that time, the company said that it had engaged Goldman, Sachs & Co. as its financial adviser to explore strategic alternatives for the company, which may include a merger, asset sale, investment in the company or another comparable transaction, or a financial restructuring.


On Wednesday, the company said it would close its United Kingdom Web site on Jan. 19 and follow by winding down its European business.
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