Following up on our post from earlier this month, the new Southern Living at Home is leaner and meaner. Media of Birmingham has learned that 30 of the company’s 60 employees were laid off Thursday, as part of its acquisition by Entertaining at Home.
Update: The Birmingham News reports 29 jobs were eliminated, leaving 41 on the payroll.
The Birmingham-based Southern Living at Home sells housewares through Tupperware-style parties, as part of Southern Progress Corporation. Departing employees will receive severance packages from Time Inc., not from the new corporate owner.
“The future looks extremely bright for us this fall as the contraction in our industry ends and we begin to transition to a period of expansion,” wrote Bill Shaw, president of Entertaining at Home, in an e-mail to staff members last week. “Our goal is to build a strong business with sustainable growth that creates jobs and we look forward to accomplishing that in the near future.”
The 30 29 laid-off employees comes on the heels of Southern Progress’ shutdown of Southern Accents magazine this month, putting 20 employees out of work.
The complete text of the e-mail …
From: Bill Shaw
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 2:45 PM
Subject: Email to all employees
When we acquired Southern Living At Home we were very open about the need to right-size the cost of infrastructure to match the size of revenue expected in 2009. We talked about combining two infrastructures into one more cost effective organization by eliminating jobs that were redundant, identifying jobs that would be required only during the integration transition and finally securing jobs that would be needed long-term. This has been an extremely difficult process for everyone involved, especially those of you that have waited patiently for us to complete our work. These decisions are the most difficult we’ve ever been required to make and we wanted to take as much time as possible to ensure we got it right. These decisions, as difficult as they may be are essential to immediately return us to stability and position us for growth. I’m deeply saddened by the reality that this Thursday we will be releasing a group of extraordinarily talented individuals into a difficult employment market. My consolation is knowing how obviously valuable these people will be to prospective new employers and that our Nation is beginning its economic recovery. In addition to the severance packages we will be awarding, I want every discharged employee to know that they can list me personally as a reference and I will commit to return all calls to prospective employers to ensure they understand the circumstances of the termination and how highly regarded each person is to our management.
Also, late this week we will sit down with the remaining employees to discuss the status of their continued employment so they can plan for their future. All remaining employees will have until the close of business on Monday, August 31, to submit resignations and receive their Time, Inc. equivalent severance package. If you choose to go forward and then decide to leave our employment voluntarily after September 1, 2009, you will not be eligible for a severance. Should your jobs be eliminated during the first year of our ownership of the company, either as part of a transitional layoff or for some other reason other than with cause, you will be eligible for the same Time, Inc. equivalent severance package.
There is a clear path to success with Southern Living at Home and our new combined business. The future looks extremely bright for us this fall as the contraction in our industry ends and we begin to transition to a period of expansion. Our goal is to build a strong business with sustainable growth that creates jobs and we look forward to accomplishing that in the near future.
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How is the group selling at home parties being affected?
Not sure. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
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I can speak as a former Southern Living at Home consultant who changed companies when Bill Shaw founded Entertaining at Home where I am currently a Director…. we are all very excited about the merging of our similar companies- My parties are bigger than ever and my customers love the mix of products!
“If there ever was the best of both worlds, this is it!!!”
Becky Silke http://HappyHour.eahweb.com/Default.aspx