Jobs at risk in Limerick customer contact centre

Irish call centre of online shopping group Gilt ‘under review’, staff told

Gilt opened its international customer support centre in Limerick in 2011. Stock photograph: Getty Images

Gilt opened its international customer support centre in Limerick in 2011. Stock photograph: Getty Images

 

About 100 jobs are at risk in Limerick after staff at a customer contact centre serving online shopping firm Gilt were told the operation was being reviewed.

It was announced a week ago that Canadian firm Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was selling the Gilt business in the United States and Japan to Rue La La. The Saks Fifth Avenue owner bought the flash sale ecommerce business in 2016. The company already owns its own discount brand, Saks OFF 5th.

However, the fortunes of the ecommerce site have worsened, leading to the sale of the site. That has led to uncertainty over the future of the Irish call centre.

A spokeswoman for HBC said the company had decided to enter a consultation phase to explore the potential consolidation of its customer contact centre operations.

“As part of the actions taken to strengthen the foundation of the company and position HBC for profitable growth, we have made the decision to divest Gilt,” the spokeswoman said. “We are pleased to have found homes for the Gilt businesses in the US and Japan that are more synergistic with Gilt’s core operating model. These transactions will allow us to focus time and resources on growth drivers that will have the greatest impact on our results.”

According to the Limerick Leader, staff at the Irish call centre were brought in on the June bank holiday weekend to hear about the plan.

The members-only shopping site opened its international customer support centre in Limerick in 2011, expecting to employ up to 60 people by the end of that year. According to its latest accounts, which cover the period up to January 28th, 2017, the company employed 145 people, including 92 customer service staff.