QVC is laying off 220 people as it ships parts of its HR, IT, finance and legal departments to Krakow, Poland. Approximately 100 people at the company’s West Chester, Pa. campus are expected to lose their jobs. There are also 40 layoffs in the U.K., 70 in Germany and 10 in Italy.
QVC CFO Ted Jastrzebski broke the news to Pennsylvania workers on Wednesday, leading some long-time employees to get emotional, according to a source familiar with the situation. Some of the terminated employees had been with the company since its very first years in the late 1980s, the source said.
The layoffs are expected to begin no earlier than January 2017 and will be a gradual process.
A QVC representative said in a statement that the company is “always evaluating the structure and scale” of the organization and now plans to establish a “global business services organization” in Poland.
“The global business services model is part of QVC’s long-term strategy to continue modernizing how we operate as a global entity,” the statement said. “It will provide more efficient and streamlined business services in order for QVC to stay competitive and continue expanding globally.”
QVC told the employees about the layoffs at least 10 months in advance, something the employees appreciate, according to the QVC source.
“They’re not doing anything fast, which is nice for people who haven’t even written their resume in 20 years,” the source said. The company is also providing them outplacement services.
So why Poland?
“Many of the world’s largest companies have a global business services organization in Poland,” the QVC statement said, “leveraging the country’s high-quality business environment, workforce with multi-lingual capabilities, and lower cost which enable seamless support for the U.S. and Europe.”
The announcement comes of the heels of 147 QVC layoffs that late last year when the company permanently closed its jewelry returns department and began handling all distribution and returns at its Florence, S.C. facility. The terminated workers mostly held warehouse jobs.
QVC is an $8.8 billion company with 17,000 employees that broadcasts in seven countries. It shipped 173 million products in 2014.
Despite the current layoffs, QVC is currently hiring for 230 positions in Pennsylvania and more than 500 in the United States.
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