Generation Brands Consolidates Some Operations to Weather Tough Economy

Generation Brands

When the home building industry took a wallop, so did many lighting and builder-related businesses. Generation Brands was hit hard, having several companies, particularly Sea Gull Lighting and Monte Carlo Fans, that are heavily involved in the building sector. An announcement was made yesterday, July 21, by Joe Higgins, CEO of Generation Brands, that there will be a consolidation in some shared services and back-office operations at the Sea Gull offices in Riverside, N.J. and the Monte Carlo facility in Dallas/Fort Worth and will result in a layoff of approximately 10 percent of employees over the next 18 months. The decision was made to strengthen the group’s financial standing without adversely affecting its customer base. Monte Carlo’s Dallas/Ft. Worth office will be closing by the end of 2012, with some operations moving to Murray Feiss’ New York headquarters and others relocating to the Skokie, Ill. headquarters of Generation Brands’ Encompass Lighting Group, which includes the Tech Lighting & LBL companies. There are no anticipated changes for that group. Riverside, N.J. will remain as Sea Gull Lighting’s headquarters, although certain back-office operations will move to the Encompass Lighting Group facility in Illinois. There will be no changes to either distribution center located on the West and East coasts. Generation Brands is still in the midst of its previously announced 18-month restructuring plan, which management assures remains on track to be completed by the end of 2012. “There will be no disruptions to the end customer during this process,” assures Joe Higgins, CEO of Generation Brands. “Like everyone else in the industry, we’d been hoping that things would get better, but hope is not a strategy. We decided we had to make a move and build a better business model that will enable sustainable growth and weather any storm going forward. We feel that we’ve done that,” he adds.  “We owe it to our employees [and customers] to be totally transparent about what is going on. There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” he states.

5 thoughts on “Generation Brands Consolidates Some Operations to Weather Tough Economy

  1. On a buiness level its the right thing to do, on a personal level my heart goes out to all the emplpyees and the upper management making all these changes. Lets all keep a positive attidute that things will turn around in our industry and working together as a team to make it through these tough times! 

    1. I agree with you 100%, Cindy. When I talked to Joe, it was clear that this was a very hard decision for Gen Brands to make, especially since it affected employees. Fingers crossed that lighting companies continue to weather the financial storm. On a positive note, we haven’t lost any large manufacturers even though the industry really got socked hard with the housing bubble bursting etc. and the recession affecting consumer spending. Here’s hoping we all have turned a corner (no pun intended on Lighting Corner!)

        1. Very true. That said, better a company restructures than shuts down completely. It’s been an interesting week of ups and downs for lighting news with the re-emergence of Nulco (thanks to ELK) and then this announcement. (To read about Nulco, it is also a recent item in our News section.) Stay tuned for more breaking lighting news tomorrow. 

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