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Disney slices stores staff

Mouse House looking to sell retail chain

HOLLYWOOD — About 140 administrative employees of the Disney Stores have received layoff notices effective in 60 days.

A Mouse House spokesman said Monday the pinkslips were circulated Thursday among workers in the retail division’s Glendale headquarters.

Mouse recently announced plans to sell its Disney Stores and has been shuttering underperforming locations for the past year. Spokesman Gary Foster said the staff downsizing reflects reduced needs for administrative support in light of recent store closings.

He declined to estimate when further stores might be closed.

“We’ll just have to come to a decision, depending on where we are with a potential sale and what a potential buyer might want to do after that,” Foster said.

Disney plans to extend severance pay and outsourcing services to the laid-off Disney Store employees, he added.

Mouse is expected soon to hire an investment bank to search for a Disney Stores buyer. Burbank conglom wants to find a merchandiser to operate the North American stores under a licensing agreement with Disney, similar to its ongoing arrangement in Japan.