Keene, NH—The Edge Co., a 15-year-old cataloger of high-tech gadgets and gifts, laid off 48 people on Sept. 24–84% of its staff. Just nine employees remain with the company. Although The Edge had a 48-page catalog ready to mail to 1 million customers and prospects as of Sept. 21, president/CEO Bill Rooney says that he decided to shelve the book and reorganize the company due to its “financial situation.” The previous Edge catalog dropped in late May.
The Edge, which is owned by Retail Equity Partnerships, a division of GE Investments, also operates Voyager’s Collection, a catalog of travel-related products that has been distributed in the seatbacks of American Airlines planes. But American failed to renew its contract with Voyager’s which expired at the end of September, Rooney says. Voyager’s fate is also being reevaluated.
Edge founder Patrick Gaffney sold the company to the now-defunct Genesis Direct (backed by GE Capital) three years ago. Currently, orders placed for at least 35 SKUs are on backorder. One particular exclusive limited-edition product has been backordered since April, due to a problem with the supplier of that item, Rooney says. Some other backordered items have been cancelled altogether, but customers have been properly treated, he adds.
“We want to take the time to do a proper diagnosis to reposition the catalog,” Rooney says. “We’ve told our people that they’ve been furloughed. Hopefully they’ll be called back.” While The Edge will continue to fulfill orders throughout the season, it will advertise only through its Website.