A Bad Fall for Layoffs

The Fall/Holiday Season is usually a time when retailers are hiring extra help — not laying people off. But in November and December, several retailers announced deep cuts in staffing. Here’s a roundup of some of the pre-holiday season industry layoffs.

  • Medical, dental and veterinary products distributor Henry Schein in early November announced that it was cutting 300 jobs, or 2.5% of its work force worldwide. In addition, Schein says it will be closing several small distribution facilities.

  • Costumes and party supplies cataloger Celebrate Express in December announced its plan to lay off 200 employees starting early this year. The struggling company, which was sold to Liberty Media about six months ago, is closing its call center, administration office, distribution center and other operations in Greensboro, NC. The cataloger said it would lay off 65 employees when it closes its call center Feb. 1. Celebrate Express also plans to eliminate 132 positions by the end of February, and 16 more by the end of May.

  • TV shopping/catalog merchant HSN announced Dec. 5 it would be laying off about 110 employees and eliminating 52 open positions. HSN is reducing headcount in its Cornerstone catalog division by 3% as well, cutting 75 jobs there. (A long-time Cornerstone catalog staffer told Multichannel Merchant he was laid off in late October.)

  • Office supplies cataloger/retailer Office Depot announced Dec. 10 it is cutting more than 2,000 jobs and closing about 112 stores through February. The move will reduce Office Depot’s North American store base to 1,163.

What’s more, Office Depot will close 14 stores through 2009 as leases expire or other lease arrangements are finalized. The company also plans to close six of its 33 distribution facilities in North America.

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