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Wolverine Worldwide says it's cutting jobs to save costs

Wolverine Worldwide in its third quarter financial results it would set aside more than $64 million to cover "environmental liabilities" over contamination near its sites in northern Kent County. Now the company has announced cost-cutting measures.

Wolverine Worldwide says it’s laying off workers to cut costs.

The West Michigan-based shoe company says it’s looking to offload some of its low-profit businesses, such as the Keds shoe brand, as a way to streamline.

“These decisions, particularly those related to our impacted team members, were not taken lightly,” said Wolverine’s president and CEO, Brendan Hoffman, in a statement. “We greatly value the contributions of our talented colleagues and are committed to supporting impacted team members in their transitions.”

The company didn't say how many workers would be laid off.

In its latest quarterly financial report, Wolverine warned that high inflation and economic uncertainty could hurt its business.

But it also acknowledged that it’s setting aside $64.4 million in funds to pay out for “environmental liabilities.”

Wolverine Worldwide used a certain class of chemicals known as PFAS at its facilities in Northern Kent county for years.

After the state found PFAS contamination near those facilities, it sued. And so did people who lived in the area.

The company didn't admit fault, but it did agree to pay to settle the suits, along with 3M, the company that made the PFAS.

Wolverine said it expects cost cutting moves announced this week should generate about $65 million in savings.

The company reported as of Januarythat it had 4,400 employees.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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