SHELBURNE, Vt. (AP) — Slumping sales and a bad economy have prompted Vermont Teddy Bear Co. to lay off 15 full-time workers and cut other jobs, officials said.
The company, which relies on sales around Valentine's Day, Christmas and Mother's Day, says it has failed to reach sales goals. In addition to the layoff, it's cutting seven vacant management jobs.
''Like other companies in the retail gift delivery industry, Christmas and Valentine's Day are critical holidays for us,'' said CEO Elisabeth Robert.
''This year, consumer spending is down and our sales reflect that. We can stay on track to achieve positive operating income this year, but we are not meeting the sales goals that supported our annual budget and employment plans.''
Founded in 1983, Vermont Teddy Bear employs 300 people at its manufacturing and retail store here and a manufacturing facility in Newport. It also makes more than 900 seasonal hires to gear up for the holidays.