Layoffs at Martha by Mail

New York-based Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, which includes the Martha by Mail catalog, on March 14 laid off 40 people—or a little more than 6% of its overall staff—from its catalog/e-commerce division.

Despite the highly publicized problems facing the company following the Chapter 11 filing by discount retailer Kmart, of which the Martha Stewart domestics line is a major supplier, the layoffs are strictly related to the catalog/Internet division’s own problems, including its $24.7 million EBITDA loss for 2001.

“These were job eliminations as part of a restructuring of the unit,” says spokesperson Elizabeth Estroff, “and had nothing to do with Kmart.” Although she won’t specify what kind of restructuring is taking place, Estroff notes that the move was spearheaded by the unit’s new president Shelley Nandkeolyar, who started at the company at the beginning of the year.

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