UPDATED Wednesday, September 26, 2012--5:40p.m.
DODGEVILLE--"It has a huge impact," said Dodgeville Mayor Todd Novak. "Because you know Dodgeville's a pretty close knit community and I know people that have lost their jobs today, so we..all know somebody that's lost their job."
Mayor Novak says Lands' End employs more than 3,000 people--making them the largest employer in the county. But today 75 of those employees are finding they no longer have a job. And more cuts are coming between now and January. "One of the major changes that we did was a reorganization in our customer contact center, where we are announcing that we will be doing a 29 percent workforce reduction," said Michele Casper, a company spokeswoman.
The reason for the cuts to the company's call center? Most of their customers do their shopping online. "What we're learning is that our customers time and time again are coming to us through online channels," said Casper. "So we needed to update how we better service our customers. So by doing this we are re-evaluating positions and that is hence why we made these decisions for today."
All told, 149 customer contact center employees are being let go.
As are 50 corporate employees.
Casper says they will still have seasonal holiday hiring--and the employees laid off today will have priority consideration for those positions.
As for what the community will do to help out the newly unemployed workers: "We're regrouping, we're talking and I have an open door policy with Lands' End," said Novak. "And I'm sure I'll be having some discussions with them as things play out to what we're going to do."
Casper says all of the laid-off employees will be receiving competitive severance packages. She says that includes pay and benefit continuation and outplacement services.
Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2012 --- Noon
DODGEVILLE, Wis., Sept. 26,2012 – Lands’ End today announced that it is adjusting its Dodgeville workforce to better align its organization with changing consumer shopping habits.
Online shopping by Lands’ End customers continues to increase. In fact, nearly 80 percent of all Lands’ End’s customers in the United States are shopping online through Landsend.com. This evolving preference to shop online has affected our traditional call center staffing model as the call volume has steadily declined by more than 50 percent over the last 10 years.
To better address consumer needs and the continuing growth in digital commerce, the company is reducing its customer contact center staff by 29 percent in Dodgeville and streamlining overall business operations. As a result, the workforce will be reduced by approximately 86 full-time and 63 flexible part-time positions by the end of January. This represents a three percent reduction in workforce for Lands’ End in the U.S. and a five percent reduction in the Dodgeville workforce.
Along with the Dodgeville customer contact center, customer contact centers in Reedsburg and Stevens Point remain—ensuring that Lands’ End will continue to maintain its legendary 24-hour, 364-days-a-year, customer contact centers across Wisconsin. Regular and seasonal customer contact center shift work will continue unaffected through the holiday retail season.
The company has also identified approximately 50 positions throughout the rest of the organization where there were redundancies or overlapping roles and responsibilities and those positions are being eliminated effective immediately.
“We’ve had to make some difficult business decisions, especially since our employees are involved, but they’re necessary as Lands’ End evolves and continues to be a relevant brand that our customers have counted on for nearly 50 years, “ said Edgar Huber, CEO and president of Lands’ End. “The changes we’ve made reflect how our customers are shopping with us, which is increasingly online. As consumer shopping habits evolve, so will Lands’ End to ensure that we continue providing customers with high-quality products at an exceptional value.”
In keeping with Lands’ End’s philosophy and the value it places on employees, the company is offering a competitive severance package, which includes pay and benefit continuation, as well as outplacement services. Impacted employees will receive priority consideration for opportunities within the company for which they are qualified.
About Lands' End
Lands’ End® is a classic American lifestyle brand with a passion for quality, legendary service, real value and a simple two-word promise to stand behind everything it sells: Guaranteed. Period.® Lands’ End delivers timeless style for Men, Women, Kids and the Home at landsend.com, 1-800-800-5800, the Lands’ End Shops at Sears and around the world. Lands’ End is a proud member of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD).