The economy is taking its taking its toll on another cataloger. North Hampton, MA-based Motherwear, a cataloger/retailer of apparel for nursing mothers, laid off 18 of its 40 employees this week.
After two years of declining sales, the company needed to scale back its costs, says president Jody Wright: “Our sales have been declining during the past couple of years. It got to the point where we had to make some changes, and staffing is one of the areas you can make changes to easily, and reduce the amount of space you’re in.” The company, which leases its building space, can now cut its workspace by half.
As a result of the layoffs, Wright says she will be handling much more of the company’s marketing and store operations herself. Call center hours, previously from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., will be cut back to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“It’s much harder to work in a niche like ours with a very short-term customer in this kind of economy,” Wright says. “Each sale coming in is $20 less than it was” two years ago. Making matters more tricky is that the short-term aspect of the company’s customer base makes prospecting difficult yet essential. “We have to be recruiting new customers all the time,” Wright says.