About 29 positions will be eliminated during the next year at the Duluth-based Maurices office as corporate owner Ascena Retail Group implements a new, leaner business model.
In a Thursday announcement, Ascena, which owns Maurices, said it is creating “a managed services operating model to support operational service delivery across its transactional HR and Finance functions.” In using that model, some of the workload is transferred to a third-party provider, said spokeswoman Laura Sieger.
The change will eliminate 115 Ascena positions nationally, some of which are located in the offices of its retail brands, which include Maurices, Dress Barn, Ann Taylor, Loft, Justice, Lane Bryant and Catherines. On June 15, Ascena said it was reducing its staff by 200 persons, including 10 at its Duluth-based Maurices headquarters.
“Many large organizations of our size are leveraging managed services models for operational support functions to create efficiencies and redeploy resources. This type of arrangement will help us steer additional capacity toward our customers and grow our top line,” David Jaffe, Ascena chairman, president and CEO, said in a news release. “We are in a time of unprecedented change in our industry, and are making necessary changes to transform Ascena to be able to compete successfully in a rapidly shifting competitive space. We acknowledge and honor the service of our impacted associates, and will work with them to provide transitional support and ensure a seamless transition over the coming months.”
Employees were informed of this change Thursday and will continue working in their current roles for the next six to 12 months, depending on their functional responsibility, Ascena said.
The corporation expects to save $250 to $300 million by fiscal year 2019, while simultaneously enhancing its omni-channel platform and customer-facing capabilities.
The retail industry nationwide has been plagued by an outflow of customers to Internet sellers, eroding profits for companies as large as Sears and Macy's.