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.