Mokrynski Lays Off Staff

A persistent symptom of the softening economy has been layoffs and cost cuts. And the list industry is no exception.

Earlier this week, list management and brokerage firm Mokrynski & Associates Inc., laid off eight staff members, instituted wage freezes on those making over $40,000 annually and announced a forced week of unpaid vacation when the company closes for one week during the December holidays.

Tactics reportedly being taken at a number of list firms across the industry, according to sources.

Don Mokrynski, CEO of the firm, said yesterday that the moves are among a number of cost-cutting efforts as the catalog market turned soft along with the rest of the economy. Some 90% of Mokrynski’s business is with catalogs. “Just like everybody else in the industry we need to tighten up our expenses,” Mokrynski said.

In addition to the handful of layoffs—taken primarily in non-sales related areas—the firm cut back on travel expenditures and the use of outside consultants in different operating areas such as human resources and IT, he said.

Mokrynski said that four consecutive soft seasons in the catalog industry resulted in circulation reductions and the necessity to cut expenses. But on the bright side, fall results are picking up and the holiday season looks hopeful, he said.

“We’re somewhat optimistic about that, but we’re not shouting from the rafters yet,” he said. “It looks like it’s turned positive, but we’re still sorting through this and we’ll continue to take any measures we need to keep healthy.” Mokrynski & Associates Inc., is based in Hackensack, NJ.

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