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Middlebury's RetailVision to lay off around 20 workers

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Posted on May 3, 2010 |
By John Flowers



MIDDLEBURY — RetailVision will shed approximately 20 of its 70 Middlebury employees by this August, representatives of the Middlebury business’s parent company confirmed on Thursday.

The cuts, announced to affected workers last Wednesday, are being driven by the expiration of a contract with a firm that had been providing some warehousing and distribution services for RetailVision, which creates and manages specialty magazine sales programs for specialty retailers throughout the country.

Established in 1992, RetailVision is based at 23 Pond Lane and is owned by Florida-based Source Interlink Media (SIM). Plans now call for the warehousing — along with some of the related recording and shipping functions that are currently being coordinated in Middlebury — to be shifted to SIM’s Florida headquarters, according to Cynthia Beauchamp, general counsel and spokeswoman for SIM.

Beauchamp said the company changes will result in some new job postings at the SIM location in Bonita Springs, Fla., and affected Middlebury workers will be able to apply for those jobs.

“We are sympathetic,” Beauchamp said, adding some job fairs, severance pay and benefits counseling sessions are in the works. “We are trying to give as soft a landing as possible to our employees.”

Beauchamp added the layoffs would occur in a phased-out fashion, between now and the end of August.

While RetailVision will no longer be managing specialty magazine programs for specialty retailers, it will continue in its other role — supplying magazines and books to small business owners, according to Beauchamp.

News of the layoffs came as a jolt for RetailVision workers in Wednesday.

Debbie Moody, a three-year employee of the company, was one of those informed that her job was being eliminated.

She said she and other employees had noticed some belt tightening at RetailVision in recent months. In December, Moody said employees were asked to squeeze into a smaller portion of the 12,000-square-foot Pond Lane building that the company has been leasing since 2000.

Redstone has been marketing, for lease, 5,725 square feet within the building, located in Middlebury’s industrial park. The structure was originally home to Soundview Executive Book Summaries.

“It’s a sad thing,” Moody said of the downsizing of RetailVision.

Asked about the long-term future of RetailVision in Middlebury, Beauchamp said, “We’re assessing that business. We believe we need to make some changes to make it viable. Hopefully, it will remain a profitable business for us.”

Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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