Figi's announces closures, layoffs

MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) Mason Companies Inc., owner of Marshfield gift catalog company Figi's announced partial business closures and the layoff of 276 employees Friday.

Figi's specializes in selling gift baskets, gourmet food and holiday gifts through online and catalog orders.

The company announced the immediate closure of 'Gifts in Good Taste' and 'Birchland Market,' two gift catalog divisions within Figi's.

The closures will be rolled out in two phases, impacting 276 of the company's 400 total employees. Phase one will lead to the immediate layoff of 129 employees. Phase two will lead to the layoff of 147 employees who will keep their jobs through March 2019 as the company winds down operations.

The Figi's Marshfield call center and Stevens Point warehouse will stay open. About 125 employees will keep their jobs to run the remaining parts of the business.

All impacted employees will be given 60 days of full salary and benefits. They will also receive 60 days of access to the company's employee assistance program to help them find new jobs.

Mason Companies Inc. purchased Figi's in 2013 when the company was being impacted by a depressed retail market.

Company spokesperson Jennifer Mercer says Mason Companies Inc. invested millions of dollars into Figi's to try to turn the business around. Figi's struggled to make a profit as the retail market continued on a downward trend.

Mason Companies Inc. attempted to sell the company, with discussions taking place as recently as this week. No reasonable or viable offers emerged.

"This is not a decision that the company entered into lightly. Mason Companies treats Figi's as part of the Mason Companies family and they really did everything they possibly could to try to find another option other than this one," said Mercer.