Lillian Vernon (company)

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Lillian Vernon Corporation is an American catalog merchant and online retailer that sells household, children's and fashion accessory products. In business since 1951 (when it was founded by Lillian Vernon (person) out of her Mount Vernon, New York apartment; the business name is a combination of her first name and her hometown, and is now owned by the Taylor Corporation. Mrs. Vernon is retired and no longer involved with the business.

Lillian Vernon (center) donates a refrigerated truck to Citymeals-on-Wheels

History[edit]

The privately held company was sold in July 2003 to investment firm Direct Holdings Worldwide, which in turn sold the company to Sun Capital Partners in May 2006.[1] On February 15, 2008, following a particularly bad holiday season and faced with worsening credit market conditions, the company gave notice to half the employees in its headquarters and distribution facilities that they were being laid off. The following Wednesday, February 20, the company announced that it was filing for bankruptcy and that it would either be sold, or wind down the business. Following the bankruptcy filing, the company was sold to Current USA, the highest bidder, in April 2008.[2]

In November and December 2008 the company held special online coupon promotions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In March 2011, Current USA closed the Virginia Beach warehouse location to reduce costs. Warehouse and call center operations were moved to a Colorado location operated by the parent company Taylor Corporation.[3]

Lillian Vernon re-established itself post-bankruptcy, expanding its internet presence through Facebook and Apple's iTunes marketplace. In September 2010, Lillian Vernon released a free storybook for iOS devices including the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch called "Dusty D. Dawg has feelings too".[4] The company was given the lowest score (55 out of 100) of any rated apparel company (out of 11 total) in the Human Rights Campaign's 2008 Corporate Equality Index, a measure of gay and lesbian workplace equality.[5]

Several Hollywood celebrities began their careers as Lillian Vernon models including Jason Biggs, Monica Potter and Marla Maples.[6]

Pop culture references[edit]

Funny products from the similarly named but imaginary Lillian Verner company are featured in The Lillian Verner Game Show, which was a recurring game show spoof on MADtv.

In the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the song "Sugar Daddy" includes a lyric in which Hedwig tell his American military boyfriend that "I want all the luxuries of the modern age, / Every item on every page / Of the Lillian Vernon catalogue".

Awards and honors[edit]

Lillian Hochberg is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Project Sunshine Award for Philanthropic Leadership and The International Center in New York's Award of Excellence.[7] She is a board member of Citymeals-on-Wheels.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]