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US-based Lillian Vernon to outsource work to India

The need to back up its operations has led the firm to shift its Virginia Beach call centre to India.

business Updated: Nov 10, 2003 13:07 IST

Citing the need to back up its operations during emergencies like the Hurricane Isabel, which recently struck the United States, Lillian Vernon Corp has decided to shut down the late shift at its Virginia Beach call centre and to outsource it to a call centre in India.

The mail order and online retailer will idle the telephone ordering and customer service centre from midnight until 7:00 am from later this month, company officials were quoted as saying by the local media.

The move will essentially send up to 50 jobs offshore. The shift has a crew ranging from two to 50, depending on the season, and has historically been the most difficult to the staff. Displaced employees have been provided other shift timings, it said.

The call centre in India will also take over the operations if the Virginia Beach office is closed any other time.

The September hurricane had shut down parts of the local operation for three days and it illustrated the necessity of having an alternative plan, company managers said.

"A business like ours is over the phone. When the call center closes, it has a tremendous impact," David Hochberg, a spokesman at the company's Rye headquarters in New York said.

First Published: Nov 07, 2003 12:06 IST