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  • Andrea Lillo

Dekor cuts work force in effort to slash costs

Dekor, the home decor chain that opened four stores in Georgia about seven months ago, has laid off about 20 percent of its staff and is closing one of its stores.

"Sales continue to go up every month," said Kathy Haffamier, vp, merchandising, but "we had to get our costs in line and had to do this." Dekor's investors, she added, are 100 percent behind the company.

Dekor employs about 550 people, she said, and about 100 people were let go last week, affecting all departments, including merchandising, store operations, accounting and information systems.

One of those let go was Terry Handelman, merchant for soft home. All of the layoffs were difficult decisions, Haffamier said, including the ones in merchandising, since Dekor has "excellent merchants." Haffamier will be assuming Handelman's responsibilities. However, there will be no more layoffs, she said.

In addition, the Arbor Place store in Douglasville, GA, will close. "When we opened that store we knew the market was not like the ones for the other three stores," and its placement in the back of a mall made it even more difficult, she said. "We have not been able to make it work." Dekor plans to transfer that store's personnel to other positions.

Dekor has also put off its expansion plans for Nashville, TN. One store was to open this fall; now it is scheduled to open after the first of next year, she said.

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