Brookstone Lays Off Gardeners Eden Staff

Merrimack, NH-based Brookstone quietly laid off 19 Gardeners Eden administrative staffers on June 28, the same day it announced that it was seeking to sell the garden products title.

Selling via catalog, the Web, and five stores, Gardeners Eden had sales of $16 million last year; it also had a pretax operating loss of $3.6 million.

The layoffs affected only employees at Brookstone headquarters. Gardeners Eden continues to operate as Brookstone seeks a potential buyer, spokesperson Robert Padgett told MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT via e-mail.

“From headquarters, the business is being run by remaining Gardeners Eden corporate staff, as well as a number of Brookstone employees, who historically have contributed to Gardeners Eden operations,” Padgett wrote. “Furthermore, all five retail stores remain open and fully staffed, the Website at www.gardenerseden.com is fully operational and taking customer orders, and we are preparing to mail a Gardeners Eden catalog in August.”

In addition to Gardeners Eden and the flagship Brookstone catalog and stores, which sell high-tech gadgets and gifts, the company mails the Hard-to-Find Tools catalog. On April 15, Brookstone signed a definitive agreement to be sold to OSIM International, J.W. Childs Associates, and Temasek Capital. It had acquired Gardeners Eden from Williams-Sonoma in 1999.

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