Jones Group to close 170 stores, cut workforce
New York — The Jones Group Inc. announced Monday that it will put into action a series of events designed to shore up profitability, the most significant of which includes shuttering 170 underperforming stores in the U.S. by mid-2014.
The stores identified for closure include 50 units previously announced in the fourth quarter.
Jones, which owns the Nine West, Jones New York and Anne Klein banners among others, will emerge from the restructuring with a higher percentage of outlet stores in its portfolio, and some units will be converted to more viable sister banners.
"We remain focused on our mission to create the leading global fashion company defined by premier brands,” said CEO Wesley Card.
Other cost-saving initiatives announced by Card include consolidating DCs and cutting staff. About 18% of the company’s retail employees in the U.S. will be terminated, and another 2% of corporate, support and supply chain staff will be cut. Retail staff reductions are already underway and, said the company, will continue through the first half of 2014.
The aggressive cuts come as Jones has struggled to ride out the economy. The company said Monday that it projects first-quarter earnings to be half what they were in the same period last year.
Peapod, nonprofit help Hurricane Sandy families rebuild
NEW YORK, N.Y. — As the six month anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, online grocery service Peapod is teaming up with Family-to-Family, Inc. to launch a 90-day campaign to restock the kitchen cupboards of families still struggling from the effects of the storm.
Through its website, Family-to-Family has provided a simple way for donors across the country to click, order and share a “Comforts of Home Welcome Home Box” for affected families. For $62, the care packages are filled with basic food essentials for selected hurricane-affected families in Staten Island, The Rockaways, Brooklyn, New York City and Ocean County, N.J. Peapod by Stop & Shop, an Ahold company, will fulfill the orders and deliver the groceries to each recipient family’s doorstep. Peapod has also committed to donating a matching box for the first 200 bought by donors and has offered to waive all delivery fees.
“It’s been six months since the hurricane hit and many families are still struggling, financially and emotionally, to put the broken pieces of their lives back together,” says Pam Koner, founder and executive director of Family-to-Family. “’Comforts of Home’ boxes will help these families in a concrete way and also let them know they haven’t been forgotten.”
Boxes will include flour, sugar, herbs and spices, olive oil, oatmeal, breadcrumbs, peanut butter and jelly, black beans, rice, pasta, cereal and condiments. Recipient families can choose from three food types: regular, low-sodium or diabetic.
“This is the best kind of delivery we can make,” said Peg Merzbacher, director of marketing for Peapod. “The kitchen, and the food in it, is the centerpiece and heart of every home, so it’s so important that we are able to help families affected by Sandy rebuild with these essentials.”
In addition, donors can purchase a second box, also for $62, for the family they’re helping — a “Clean-up Box” — filled with household cleaning supplies including laundry detergent and bathroom and kitchen cleaners also supplied by Peapod.
Joining Family-to-Family’s efforts, the NYC chapter of Wgirls Inc. has pledged $20,000 to both supplement the “Comforts of Home Welcome Home Box” effort and support Family-to-Family’s mission to meet the future needs of hurricane victims as they arise.
A national hunger and poverty relief organization, Family-to-Family creates one-to-one connections, matching donors across the U.S. with specific families in need. Since the hurricane hit, Family-to-Family has provided Hurricane Sandy victims with pillows, blankets, air mattresses, clothing, kitchen items, small appliances, holiday toys and dinners, space heaters, cleaning products, cell phones and children’s art therapy programs.
Peapod was founded in 1989 and currently serves 24 U.S. markets in communities in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It has made more than 23 million deliveries since its late 1980s inception.
OfficeMax’s disability hiring program recognized
NAPERVILLE, Ill. — OfficeMax has been awarded the National Employment Team 2013 “Private Sector Business of the Year” by the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) for its commitment to employing people with disabilities, including veterans.
OfficeMax is one of two organizations — and the only private sector company — to receive this year’s CSAVR distinction.
"OfficeMax is truly honored to be recognized for our commitment to employing associates with disabilities, including disabled veterans," said Ravi Saligram, president and CEO of OfficeMax. "We’re proud of building a diverse and inclusive culture which allows us to improve the products, services and solutions that we provide to our customers."
OfficeMax’s partnership with CSAVR began in 2009 to connect individuals with disabilities to retail and distribution positions nationwide within the company. Since then, OfficeMax has expanded its working relationship with CSAVR and its partner organizations across 17 states. The most recent hiring program, at OfficeMax’s PowerMax distribution center in McCalla, Alabama, has employed more than 35 people with disabilities.
"We appreciate OfficeMax’s dedication and proactive approach to hiring individuals with disabilities," said Kathleen West-Evans, director of Business Relations for the national employment team at CSAVR. "What’s impressive about OfficeMax is their level of engagement. They aren’t just posting a ‘help wanted’ sign. They have really taken the time to work with us to help us understand their organization and needs, and are proactive in matching the job opportunities with the talent."
CSAVR’s members are the administrators of 80 state agencies that provide vocational rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities. For more than 90 years the State-Federal Vocational Rehabilitation program has been providing a wide range of services to people with disabilities. The program aims to help people with significant disabilities return to work and live better and more productive lives.