WestPoint Home Restructures, Slims Executive Staff

       

       

NEW YORK-WestPoint Home has established a new corporate structure revolving around teams organized to service each of its customers, and including the elimination of about 50 executive positions.

Each team includes executives who specialize in sales, merchandising, planning, customer service and support. All of the teams report directly to WestPoint President and CEO Norm Savaria and Taran Chernin, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. The eliminated positions were in sales, marketing and merchandising, and was carried out to enable the new teams to report directly to Savaria and Chernin, Savaria said in an interview with HFN.

Under this new structure, each retail customer has its own team. Some of the teams serve more than one retail customer, especially in cases in which multiple customers carry the same WestPoint brands, Savaria said.

The new organization “makes us significantly more efficient,” Savaria said. He estimated that it would cut about $12 million each year out of WestPoint’s selling, general and administrative expenses, or about 25 percent of the total. “The biggest advantage is we don’t have any filters between us (he and Chernin) and the teams,” Savaria added.

Also as part of the structure, WestPoint’s design and product-development areas, which report to Chernin, work with all of the teams. “We can evaluate projects better this way,” Chernin said.

Summarizing these changes, Savaria said they were the result of six months of evaluating WestPoint’s business, a process that began after Savaria and Chernin took their posts with the company last June. “Part of our job is to evaluate what’s good and what’s bad, and our company’s performance wasn’t up to our standards,” he said.

For its 2011 fiscal year, WestPoint reported a net loss of $68 million, compared to a $63 million net loss in fiscal 2010. Net sales last year fell 25 percent to $322 million.