Nike Inc will slash 5 percent of its 35,000-strong global workforce in a sweeping overhaul to boost competitiveness.

The owner of the famous swoosh logo has already halted production at three of its Chinese factories and said on Thursday the cuts will include about 500 positions at its Beaverton, Oregon, headquarters.

Nike, which is trying to weather a downturn in consumer spending and streamline its sprawling operations, has remained relatively resilient during the slump.

But the company's sales declined in its most recent quarter, especially in Europe. Quarterly margins are also under pressure.

Our new structure sharpens our consumer focus globally to drive continued growth, CEO and President Mark Parker said in a statement. The decision to reduce our workforce has been a difficult and challenging one.

We remain a growth company and we know these changes have created a stronger organization that will enable us to invest in our most significant opportunities.

Nike has banked on the cachet associated with its brand and a diversified portfolio to help it through the downturn.

The world's largest athletic shoe and clothing maker warned in March it would begin cutting jobs, partly to hold expenses down. It said at the time that it would cut up to 4 percent of its headcount, or about 1,400 jobs.

On Thursday, Nike said it completed a review of its operations and decided to go ahead with the layoffs, hoping to complete much of the process over the coming weeks.

The company's shares held steady in after-hours trading, with most the layoffs having been projected since February.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Andre Grenon)