FRANCONIA — Garnet Hill, a leading clothing and home décor company that is also the town’s largest employer, confirmed that it recently laid off 16 employees, the second reduction in force there since 2008.
Wendy Thayer, Garnet Hill’s public relations manager, said Tuesday the company — owned by the Home Shopping Network, Inc., had a restructuring that entailed the layoffs of both part- and full-time employees. She would not say if or what kind of severance packages the employees received, or how long they had been with Garnet Hill.
Thayer said the layoffs, the second in the past six years, were to help Garnet Hill better position itself “for today and for the future,” adding that the move “was just a necessary business decision.” She said Garnet Hill has about 200 employees at its headquarters and retail outlet in Franconia; the company’s warehouse is in Cincinnati.
According to HSNI.com, Garnet Hill was founded in 1976 by Grant and Pegge Dowse and named after their converted sugarhouse located just outside of Franconia. The couple grew the business into what was described as the “first full-size mail-order catalog dedicated entirely to sharing the concept that fine natural-fiber merchandise could actually be a way of life.”Garnet Hill, said HSNI, continues “to set trends in the world of bedding and fashion. No longer renowned simply for introducing flannel sheets to America, today we’re known for our original designs, unique mix of products and refreshing point of view.”
HSNI, which is listed on the NASDAQ and bills itself as “a $3.4 billion interactive multichannel retailer with strong direct-to-consumer expertise” between its HSN and Cornerstone operating segments, said it reaches 95 million homes.
While sales grew in the second-quarter Cornerstone home brands, they were “partially offset by lower sales in the apparel brands,” said HSNI which noted that digital sales grew six percent.