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The Independent Online
The full cost of shaking up Liberty, the upmarket retailer in London's Regent Street, will see the loss of 500 jobs and a restructuring charge of pounds 18.7m, new management revealed yesterday. Denis Cassidy, chairman, said they would no longer make and distribute the distinctive fabrics which made Liberty famous. Liberty will continue to design patterns for fabrics, but will license out the rights to make and distribute them. The resulting closure of the textile operation in Europe and a warehouse in Burnley would add another 150 job cuts to the 350 declared last month, when Liberty announced it was axing all 20 of its regional stores. The exceptional charge plunged the group to a pounds 17.6m loss last year, after profits of pounds 1.93m before. Mr Cassidy said: "There is a big hit, but the big hit is probably in the nature of a one-off and you've got a sparkling, clean business which can be developed quite rapidly."

Photograph: Colin McKillop

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