Multititle mailer Brylane is closing one of its five call centers, but flagging sales aren’t to blame. Rather, the increasing popularity of the company’s Websites is the reason.
“Well over 20% of total orders are coming over the Web,” says Russell Stravitz, president/CEO of the New York-based cataloger. After closing Brylane’s Indianapolis call center at the end of June, the company will invest the money it saves in improving productivity in its Indianapolis distribution center and in its call centers in El Paso and San Antonio, TX, and Taunton and West Bridgewater, MA.
“We have to continue to deploy both people and financial assets to the future of what our business will look like,” Stravitz says. “We’ll strengthen our capabilities in e-commerce, and improve our talents in our [remaining four] call centers.”
In January, general merchandise cataloger/retailer J.C. Penney made a similar announcement: that it would close its Atlanta fulfillment center as well as its Atlanta and Lenexa, KS, catalog call centers, resulting in more than 1,000 lost jobs. Part of the reason for the closures, according to Plano, TX-based Penney, was that 40% of its direct orders now come online, so it does not need as much call center capacity.
Closing Brylane’s Indianapolis call center will eliminate 415 jobs. But Stravitz says that Brylane is working to reassign as many workers as it can to its other local facilities, which include the distribution center and its finance department.
Brylane, which is owned by French conglomerate Pinault-Printemp-Redoute, mails the Chadwick’s of Boston, KingSize Direct, Roaman’s, Lane Bryant, Jessica London, and Lerner apparel catalogs, as well as the Brylane Home and Brylane Kitchen titles.