Job cuts to occur in two phases, with first to start Friday: Memo Image Credit: Shutterstock

Oregon: Nike Inc. will slash its global workforce by about 2 per cent, or more than 1,600 jobs, as the sportswear giant pushes on with efforts to reduce costs to counter a weaker sales outlook and growing competition.

The Oregon-based firm didn't provide the number of workers that will be affected, though it currently has about 83,700 employees worldwide.

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"The actions that we're taking put us in the position to right-size our organization to get after our biggest growth opportunities as interest in sport, health and wellness have never been stronger," Nike said in a statement.

The job cuts follow an announcement in December that the company is looking for as much as $2 billion in cost savings, including reducing its workforce and simplifying its product lineup as growing consumer caution weighs on sales.

That sparked a slump in Nike's shares, which have struggled to recover and remain down about 2 per cent this year.

The job cuts will occur in two phases, according to a Nike memo seen by Bloomberg News. The first phase will kick off Friday and run into next week, while the second round will be completed by the end of the company's fourth quarter.

Willamette Week reported the planned 2 per cent job cuts earlier Thursday in the US.