Fedex Makes Its Retreat In Europe

Federal Express finally is conceding it can't crack Europe. The company on Mar. 16 said that it will take a $254 million third-quarter write-off to restructure its money-losing European operations. Federal plans to fire 6,600 employees and limit deliveries to 16 European cities. Federal packages destined for other locations will be delivered under joint agreements with rivals Securicor Omega Express and TNT Express. Federal, meanwhile, is expected to sign a $250 million, 10-year pact with Laura Ashley that has it taking control of the Britain-based retailer's logistics and distribution. Laura Ashley has been plagued with delivery problems. It also wants to pump up mail-order sales with 48-hour delivery.

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