The newly renovated Williamsburg Pottery sent eight employees layoff notices Wednesday and Thursday, less than three months after it reopened.
The $25 million, nearly 160,000-square-foot new complex broke ground in December 2010 and celebrated its grand opening on April 5. When the Pottery closed for reconstruction, it had about 25 floor employees, Pottery spokeswoman Linda Stanier said in April. The business added roughly 150 positions before reopening.
Stanier said Friday the decision to lay off employees is not based on sales, but rather on position redundancies. “We established 150 new positions in March,” Stanier said. “As is typical with any new business, after 90 days you reevaluate.”
During the reevaluation process, “we found that some positions were redundant, and weren’t meeting our business needs,” she said.
Although she could not disclose sales figures, Stanier said, “We are pleased with our [customer] traffic. The business is growing, and we are about to enter a major part of the tourist season. The response is getting better all the time.”
Jimmy Maloney founded the business in 1938 as a roadside workshop where he sold salt glaze pottery and lived in a room in the back. Over the years, he added several warehouses, a campground and factory outlet stores. He died in 2005 at the age of 93; his widow Kim Maloney is the current owner.