Avon plans to lay off 242 workers and close its Glenview facility

by Anjana Sundaram
Jan 12, 2010

Avon Products Inc. plans to lay off 242 workers in its Glenview distribution facility and sell the building by mid-May.
According to a company filing with the State of Illinois, the first round of layoffs is expected to start in February. John Lyons, human resources manager at the plant who confirmed the layoffs Tuesday said approximately 75 second-shift workers are being let go, as part of the move.

The closing of the Glenview center at 1601 Overlook Drive was announced in 2007, as part of a larger relocation move to a new state-of-the-art distribution center in Zanesville, Ohio. Operations at Avon’s Newark, Del. Distribution site will also be tranferred to Ohio. The New York-based cosmetics maker said in a 2009 press release that the new center will handle 50 percent of U.S. distribution when fully operational.

Employees at the Glenview center were given the choice in 2007 to apply for new jobs in the Ohio center or receive severance. “Impacted associates were notified well in advance of the decision,” Lyons said. Despite the early warnings, only two associates from the Glenview plant have decided to relocate, he noted.

The Village of Glenview has been communicating with Avon since the company made its decision to close the plant. “It’s a large parcel, so we have an interest in knowing what’s going on in that site,” said Glenview Village spokeswoman Janet Bishop. “We’re always reluctant to have a business leave…but we’re hopeful that the site will be redeveloped and used for another business.” Bishop did not comment on what the facility may be used for in the future.

Avon will still retain its other manufacturing facility in the area, located on 6901 Golf Road in Morton Grove, Lyons said.

Over the last several years, Avon has undergone restructuring plans to cut costs. The company announced last July that it has separate plans to lay off 1,200 workers worldwide though 2013, in order to increase efficiency and cut costs. Erin Swanson, an analyst at Morningstar Inc., said Avon has benefited from these decisions and supply-chain improvements. “Overall, the company has been gaining traction through its cost cutting decisions,” Swanson said.

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