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Bearish Berrie

Around the State – North JerseyOAKLAND Russ Berrie announced last week that it will cut 50 employees as it tries to trim expenses in its domestic gift business. The company, which designs and develops teddy bears and other infant, juvenile and gift products, will also cut back warehousing and distribution operations.

It expects to save $15 million a year from the downsizings. In its most recent financial statements dated June 30, Russ Berrie reported a net loss of $6.2 million on sales of $62 million for the quarter. It said sales in its gift segment were down 25%. The company attributes the drop to more competitors and a decline in the number of independent retail outlets that traditionally sold its merchandise.