In a statement sent to SNEWS®, Sierra Trading Post announced on Jan. 12 that it is laying off approximately 10 percent of its 830 employees. Those layoffs will affect 66 employees at the company headquarters in Cheyenne, Wyo., 12 employees in Cody, Wyo., where the company maintains a call center and retail store, and seven employees in Boise, Idaho.
The layoffs are the first in the company's 23-year history.
"We are in the midst of the worst retail climate in generations," President Keith Richardson said in the release. "Retail sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 plummeted and deep discounting in all sectors failed to induce the consumer to buy."
Richardson, noting that current economic forecasts are predicting a deepening and protracted recession, added, "It is with great pain that we made this decision. We avoided making it until we were certain the macro-economic trends were not short term. It is now unavoidable, and we are faced with a climate of shrinking retail sales for the foreseeable future. To ignore this trend would be irresponsible. We must resize our employee structure and realign it to the marketing channel shifts we have experienced.
"We will emerge from this painful trial as a stronger company, better able to profitably compete in the new economy of the foreseeable future. Our business model of offering Great Deals on Great Brands will become even more valuable to the cash-strapped customer of the future."
When contacted by SNEWS, the company declined further comment on the record.