Blair Absorbs Two Norm Thompson Facilities

Jul 19, 2007 2:13 AM  By

Norm Thompson’s loss is Blair Corp.’s gain. That’s because Norm Thompson’s contact center and distribution center is moving to sister company Blair’s Warren, PA-based headquarters. Both companies are part of Orchard Brands, formerly Appleseed’s Topco, a $1 billion-plus conglomerate consisting of Appleseed’s, The Tog Shop, Draper’s & Damon’s, Solutions, Sahalie, and Haband.

Orchard Brands, which completed its acquisition of Blair on April 30, was built by the acquisitions of private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, which also owns other significant direct marketers, such as Spiegel and Newport News.

According to Sarah Bochynski, director of human resources for Norm Thompson, the cataloger’s Hillsboro, OR-based customer service center will move to Blair’s facility in mid-September; it will be spread across Blair’s three customer service centers in Warren, Erie, and Franklin, PA.

Orchard Brands also expects to relocate Norm Thompson’s Kearneysville, WV-based distribution center next May.

Approximately 120 contact center and 150 DC employees will be affected by the operational change. A core group of about 25 customer service providers will remain in Hillsboro, OR.

The Norm Thompson headquarters operation and its nearly 150 employees will remain in Hillsboro, OR. The company plans to add staff in various business areas in the coming months.

The move “is part of an effort to optimize the operational infrastructure of these acquisitions to enhance service delivery to all customers and to ensure long-term, sustainable profitability,” Bochynski says. “Our goal is to maximize use of Orchard Brands’ strongest assets for the benefit of all its companies and enable us to invest in building the great brands in our portfolio.”