COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Limited Stores LLC is laying off up to 248 employees at its New Albany location, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The entire facility may close and all 248 employees will be separated, according to the ODJFS. Employees will begin losing their jobs Friday, in a layoff that is expected to be permanent.
In a letter to the employees, EVP and Chief Operating Officer Larry Fultz said:
As you know, the company’s Q3 results were very disappointing and we substantially missed our sales budget. As a result of this, Limited Stores, LLC (the “Company”) has determined that significant layoffs will happen in the future at our home office here at 7775 Walton Parkway, New Albany, Ohio 43054. It is even possible that we could close our home office altogether. As you know, product misses and massive shifts in retail shopping trends have been especially difficult for the Company’s business, and the Company is dealing with significant debt obligations. We have now determined that the combination of sales misses and the level of existing financial obligations will require that the Company be sold or we will have to wind down our operations due to an anticipated lack of operating capital. Over the past several weeks, we have been earnestly pursuing additional sources of liquidity and exploring a potential sale of the Company. We are now in the process of considering bids from potential buyers of the Company’s business and are hopeful that any such buyer would continue Company operations.
One employee, who asked not to be identified because she is looking for new jobs, spoke with NBC4 after she was laid off on Friday. She said she had been working there for four months and that employees were warned a few weeks ago that layoffs could happen. This Monday, they received the WARN notice.
“I think we were all just a little, ‘OK, now it’s in writing, we knew this was coming but this has a sense of finality,” the employee said.
She said the company allowed employees to job-hunt throughout the last month if they needed to. She said she’s grateful for the support from the company, even though she’s upset about losing her job.
“Who knows, this could be my new break into the career path I wanted to do or branch off into as my next step,” she said.
Asked if getting laid off right before the holidays made it even more difficult, the employee said she didn’t think the holidays made it better or worse.
“This would have been awful in August too, you know,” she said.
She said she’s grateful for family and a supportive significant other.
“He said, ‘I know this isn’t the best situation but I’m here for you,'” the employee said. “And I feel like that kind of even embodies the spirit of the season, like love and support and just kind of helping each other out.”
Asked for comment on the layoffs, the company issued the following statement:
Limited Stores, like many of its peers, is facing ongoing challenges in the current retail environment. After a detailed and thoughtful review, management has made the difficult decision to separate a number of associates at the Company’s headquarters in New Albany.
This action enables us to focus our resources on the operation of our stores and e-commerce platforms while we continue exploring options to address these challenges and provide greater financial flexibility, including discussions with a number of interested buyers.
The Limited was founded by Les Wexner in 1963 and was sold to private equity firm Sun Capital partners in 2007. It is no longer associated with Wexner’s L Brands company.