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RetailVision to close; 25 Middlebury jobs to be lost

MIDDLEBURY — Magazine sales promotion company RetailVision will close its doors in Middlebury’s industrial park at the end of October, a move that will eliminate around 25 local jobs.
“We did announce last week to our employees in Vermont that we will be shutting down that office by end of October,” Stephanie Justice, chief administrative officer of RetailVision’s Florida-based corporate owner, Source Interlink Companies (SIM), said in an Aug. 9 e-mail response to the Addison Independent.
“Unfortunately, this business has continued to struggle in the depressed economy and, as a result, it has been unable to sustain a profit,” Justice continued. “As such, we have had to make the tough decision to consolidate these functions into two of our other offices located in Florida and Illinois.”
Established in 1992, RetailVision creates and manages specialty magazine sales programs for specialty retailers throughout the country. The company, based at 23 Pond Lane, has gone through some tough economic times in recent years. RetailVision cut around 20 of its Middlebury jobs two years ago. Those cuts were driven by the expiration of a contract related to warehousing and distribution services for RetailVision. Those jobs were shifted to SIM’s headquarters in Bonita Springs, Fla.
The impending demise of RetailVision coincides with the end of the company’s lease at 23 Pond Lane, according to Justice. The building was originally erected for Soundview Executive Book Summaries. It now has other tenants, including Vtrim and the University of Vermont Extension Service.
Affected RetailVision employees will be given severance and will be invited to apply for jobs at SIM’s Illinois and Florida offices, Justice said. The company’s human resources department “will be hosting a variety of events in the coming weeks to assist these folks with finding employment (to include skills such as interviewing and building a resume),” Justice added.
“We will partner with the Vermont Department of Labor and (Addison County) Chamber of Commerce so that additional resources are available to the employees,” she said.
Closing RetailVision was a “tough decision,” Justice said during a brief phone interview. “It was a tough message to hear if you were on the receiving end.”
Employees were told to direct all requests for comment to SIM officials.
In Addison County, local officials were disappointed to learn about the closing of RetailVision.
“I am sad to hear that RetailVision is ceasing operations,” said Darcy Tarte, leader of the Addison County Economic Development Corp. (ACEDC) board. “It is always disheartening when we learn of this happening, but recognize that it will happen for various reasons. Addison County Economic Development Corporation will continue to work to strengthen our existing business community, as well as assist new business ventures.”
Robin Scheu, executive director of the ACEDC, also lamented the job losses.
“Sadly, it is yet another example of out-of-state ownership moving jobs to somewhere else,” she said, citing Monahan Filaments and Standard Register as other recent casualties.
“The data shows that local businesses tend to stay.”
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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