The Bijenkorf department store group has sacked several dozen members of staff and scrapped the annual Christmas light show in Amsterdam to cut costs, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday.
The light show on Dam square is considered to be the unofficial start of the winter festival season and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The paper bases its claim on an internal company document to staff which speaks of ‘the difficult times in the retail landscape’. Sources suggest up to 30 jobs may have been cut at the company’s headquarters.
News that what would have been the 11th Turn On The Lights show would not go ahead broke earlier this week when a webcare worker blamed ‘tighter Amsterdam city council security rules’.
The store group then amended this statement to say that it did not have the right permit for such a growing event.
A spokesman for the company told the FD that the decision to scrap the show had nothing to do with general cost cuts and again referred to the lack of the permit. The company wants to do something new each season, the spokesman said.
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