Clothing retailer Lands' End announced today it is cutting 29 percent of its call center employees in Dodgeville. Just under 200 people will lose their jobs by the end of January. Spokeswoman Michele Casper says the cuts are due to the growth of online shoppping. "Nearly 80 percent of Lands' End customers are shopping through landsend.com, so this evolving preference to shop online has really affected our traditional call center staffing model," she says.
Executive Director of the Dodgeville Chamber of Commerce Bob Berglin expects the layoffs to hurt the community. "We have a lot of small businesses here and one or two might walk away and that's tough when you lose 200, at a large company like this," he says. "It's a big ripple effect for not only Dodgeville but for southwest Wisconsin."
The Lands' End call center in Dodgeville has seen a 50 percent decrease in calls over the last 10 years. Laid off employees are being offered severance packages and job placement assistance.