Talbots keeps Tilton call center

The closing of Talbots’ Hingham call center in Massachusetts will have no affect on the J. Jill call and distribution center located in Tilton, despite the May merger between the two companies, according to Talbot officials.

“The Tilton call center will continue to handle J. Jill orders with any Talbots overflow being routed to the company’s Knoxville (Tennessee) location,” said Margery B. Myers, vice president of corporate communications for Talbots.

The closing of the Hingham center is part of the Talbots’ organizational restructuring following its $517 million purchase of The J. Jill Group in May. Talbot officials announced at the time that two brands would continue to operate independently.

The closing of the Hingham call center will result in the termination of 150 catalog sales and service jobs, 91 of which are full-time positions.

Affected employees will receive severance pay and outplacement services, said Arnold B. Zetcher, Talbots chairman. President and CEO.

“The decision to close our Hingham call center was difficult but necessary to streamline our operations as part of our integration process with J. Jill,” Zetcher said. “With this move, we have completed the anticipated organizational restructuring process. Our focus now is on continuing to capture the synergy opportunities between our two businesses as well as on implementing the strategies that will accelerate our growth.”

The Tilton call and distribution center, opened by J. Jill in 1998, currently employs 120 people.

Talbots’ remaining call center in Knoxville employs 300. – TRACIE STONE

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