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Blair to cut 35 jobs at Irvine

Recession reduces orders, say officials

September 9, 2010
Blair Corp. is consolidating shifts at its Irvine Distribution Center due to a forecast showing a decline in sales. Thirty-three full-time jobs will be cut as a result in combining the center’s second shift with its first and third shifts. “Shift consolidation was the only prudent response we could take in light of current business conditions,” said Bill Bonzulak, vice president for Orchard Brand Operations, Blair’s parent company. “The current state of the economy has had its effect on the business, and we simply had to make the appropriate adjustments in response.” According to Orchard Brands, the economic recession has resulted in a reduction in outbound orders. Bonzulak said that recent sales forecasts show declines for many of Orchard Brands’ companies. “Current volumes are expected to continue well into next year,” Bonzulak said. “It would have been irresponsible not to adjust the business to that reality.” According to Randy Scalise, Orchard Brand vice president of Fulfillment and Facilities, the consolidation at Blair’s Distribution Center will require 140 employees to change work shifts. In addition, Scalise said eight full-time positions were eliminated, but those employees will be offered other positions at the center. Shift consolidation at the center is expected to be completed by the week of Sept. 20. Despite the job cuts, the employment numbers for the Distribution Center are still higher than they were when Orchard Brands first merged with Blair, Scalise pointed out. “At that time, we had 536 full-time jobs at the Irvine Distribution Center,” Scalise said. “Today, even after these adjustments, we have 654 full-time jobs. That’s a significant gain in a little more than two years. I have every confidence that when the current recession ends we will see our employment numbers climbing once again.”


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