Happy Holidays — You’re Fired!!!
I hope you had a fun and safe New Year’s. I was planning to do a different and informative article for the first column this year … then I read about Lillian Vernon letting go 100 employees a mere five days before Christmas. With no warning! Does anyone else find this to be a despicable act?
I’m not against making a profit, but as a direct marketer, I always seek ways to reduce costs rather than cutting staff — a last resort to me — to meet profit goals. Was it really going to kill a multimillion-dollar enterprise’s profits to keep 100 employees, who probably busted their collective butts to help Vernon make its holiday sales numbers, just a few more weeks?
Somebody is waaay out of line here! I know today we live in a pressure-cooker environment, doing business at light speed. Holiday season in retail and mail order, from September on, is intense. But come on, give people a break here. Did Vernon’s management really need to do this?
Many people already find the holiday season stressful, while traditionally it’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year;” a paradox of the times we live in. The last thing someone needs is the ax to fall on them during that time.
There should be some sort of moratorium on firings the last two months of the year. Let’s extend that out into the third week of January just to be safe. Add that to our list of best practices.
Rant over! Anybody think I could possibly be off base? Let me know.
Speak to you next week. Got comments? Post them below!
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing Inc., a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert or you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.