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DFS Group lays off about 60 staff, most of them at T Galleria by DFS on Scotts Road: Report

SINGAPORE — Travel retailer DFS Group has reportedly laid off about 60 staff, most of them at its T Galleria by DFS outlet in Scotts Road, although the company’s only official comment is that it has decided to “rebalance its workforce”.

DFS Group lays off about 60 staff, most of them at T Galleria by DFS on Scotts Road: Report

Officially, DFS Group is saying only that it is "rebalancing" its Singapore workforce, but it has reportedly laid off about 60 employees.

SINGAPORE — Travel retailer DFS Group has reportedly laid off about 60 staff, most of them at its T Galleria by DFS outlet on Scotts Road, although the company’s only official comment is that it has decided to “rebalance its workforce”.

Last month, Hong Kong-based DFS said it had decided to withdraw from the liquor and tobacco concession operations at Changi Airport in 2020.

At that time, a DFS spokesperson suggested some staff affected by its withdrawal from the Changi concession operations could be redeployed to T Galleria, for example.

On Thursday (Sept 26), a DFS spokesperson told TODAY that following the airport decision “and faced by a more challenging global travel retail environment, DFS has made the decision to rebalance its workforce in Singapore”.

“Our focus remains on serving our travelling customers, while investing in the wealth of opportunity that Singapore offers to create a regional hub for technology and innovation. Our priority now is to support our employees during this period of change.”

The spokesperson has not responded to queries about the reported layoffs at T Galleria.

CNA reported on Thursday that DFS retrenched about 60 workers, most of them on the first floor of its T Galleria outlet on Scotts Road. Most of the staff members worked in the cosmetics and perfume section, it added.

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) said that DFS employees are not unionised and NTUC was not consulted about the exercise, the report stated.

When TODAY visited the T Galleria outlet, staff members said that they had been advised not to speak to the press.

Last month, DFS Group chairman and chief executive officer Ed Brennan said that the decision to withdraw from the Changi concession was based on its “unique understanding of the business environment” as the current operator of the concession in the airport.

He added: “Specifically, changing regulations concerning the sale of liquor and tobacco, against a global context of geopolitical uncertainty, meant that staying in Changi was not a financially viable option.”

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DFS duty-free liquor tobacco Changi Airport

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