NEW YORK — The Spiegel Group Inc. on Monday said that it will cut 635 jobs as part of its restructuring while operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection.
This story first appeared in the May 6, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Bill Kosturos, interim chief executive officer and chief restructuring officer of Spiegel, said in a statement: “We are transforming and repositioning our business for future success. These initiatives are an integral part of the reorganization process and are key steps toward streamlining our business processes and operations in each division as well as across The Spiegel Group to reduce costs and enhance productivity.”
Based in Downers Grove, Ill., the direct marketer said a customer sales and service center in Bothell, Wash., will go dark on July 6, affecting 365 employees. After the closure, Spiegel still will have four call centers in the U.S. and Canada: Rapid City, S.D.; Hampton, Va.; Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, and Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Also affected by the changes will be its Eddie Bauer unit, which will see a reduction in headcount at its Redmond, Wash., headquarters by 180 associates. The job losses at Redmond are effective Friday.
Spiegel said the new organizational structure will better support Eddie Bauer’s multichannel marketing strategies and bring even greater focus on serving customers, developing product and solidifying its brand positioning.
As reported, L.L. Bean has expressed an interest in possibly pursuing all or part of the Eddie Bauer division. Although a Bean spokesman said the interest at this stage is “very preliminary,” some retail and apparel consultants have observed that such a deal would combine many synergies under one roof, benefiting both firms.
An additional 90 jobs will be lost from Spiegel’s corporate information services unit at its headquarters, with most of those receiving pink slips employed at the firm’s Westmont data center in the Chicago area.
Following the reorganization, Spiegel will employ about 14,300 workers.
In separate news, Spiegel finally received Manhattan bankruptcy court approval for the full amount of its $400 million senior secured debtor-in-possession financing facility. A consortium of banks, led by Banc of America Securities, are providing the financing. As reported, interim approval of up to $150 million of the DIP facility was granted by the court on March 17. The company filed its Chapter 11 petition in March.