QVC Laying Off 147 Workers

The $8.8 billion company is moving its jewelry returns business to South Carolina.

QVC, the West Chester-based retail sales behemoth, is laying off 147 workers — mainly holding warehouse jobs.

It’s the result of the company permanently closing its jewelry returns department and handling all distribution and returns at its Florence, S.C. facility.

The layoffs will come in two rounds, one in November and another in December.

The company notified employees of the layoffs back in March, said Diane Zappas, QVC’s director of communications. On Sept. 3, QVC notified the Pennsylvania Dept. of Labor & Industry of the layoffs in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice required for most mass layoffs.

Many of the terminated employees were offered other positions at QVC’s distribution center in Lancaster, Pa. Approximately 20 have accepted, said Zappas. They also got a severance package and career-transition assistance.

Zappas said the facility in Florence is larger and more modern than the West Chester one, giving the company the chance to process returns more efficiently and ultimately provide customers with a better experience.

“It was a difficult decision for us,” said Zappas. “We’re grateful to the team for their commitment and hard work providing excellent customer service,” said Zappas.

QVC is an $8.8 billion company with 17,000 employees that broadcasts in seven countries. It shipped 173 million products in 2014. QVC’s parent company Liberty Interactive Corp. recently announced that it will pay $2.4 billion for Zulily, an e-commerce site specializing in limited-time sales of toys, clothes and apparel aimed at millennial moms.

Although it’s known for its TV sales model, its e-commerce is thriving — with online revenues of $3.5 billion in 2014 and 41 percent of its orders were generated on mobile platforms. Learn more about the company in my Q&A with CEO Mike George.