The Longaberger Company

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The Longaberger Company
Public
Traded as JRJR
Predecessor CVSL
Founder Dave Longaberger
Headquarters Newark, Ohio, United States
Key people
Dave Longaberger
Products Baskets, vitrified pottery, wrought iron, wood crafts and other products for the home.
Parent JRJR Networks
Website www.longaberger.com

The Longaberger Company is an American manufacturer and distributor of handcrafted maple wood baskets and other home and lifestyle products. It was one of the primary employers in the area near Dresden, Ohio with more than 8,200 employees and 1 billion dollars in sales. Started in Dresden, the company is now headquartered in Newark, Ohio. A family-owned and operated business, the Longaberger Company was started by Dave Longaberger in 1973, and was overtaken in 2013 by CVSL, Inc. It is currently led by John Rochon Jr, the son of the John P. Rochon, founder and chairman of JRJR Networks and Richmont Holdings. There are currently less than 75 full-time and part-time employees. Approximately 30 of those still make baskets. A combination of a recession and changing tastes in home decor combined to send sales, which peaked in 2000 at $1 billion, to about $100 million in 2012.[1]

Longaberger used direct marketing to sell products. The company had approximately 45,000 independent distributors (called Home Consultants) in the United States who sold Longaberger products directly to customers.

The old Longaberger corporate headquarters on State Route 16 is a local landmark and a well-known example of novelty architecture, since it takes the shape of the company's biggest seller, the "Medium Market Basket".[2] The seven-story, 180,000-square-foot building was designed by The Longaberger Company, and executed by NBBJ and Korda Nemeth Engineering. The building opened in 1997.[3] The basket handles weigh almost 150 tons and can be heated during cold weather to prevent ice damage.[4] Originally, Dave Longaberger wanted all of the Longaberger buildings to be shaped like baskets, but only the headquarters was completed at the time of his death.[citation needed] The company stopped paying property taxes on the building at the end of 2014, and as of July 2016 intended to relocate all remaining employees to offices in nearby Frazeysburg.[5]

On May 5, 2015, it was announced that Tami Longaberger, who led The Longaberger Co. since her father died in 1999, resigned as chief executive officer and director of the company. [6]

History[edit]

In 1919, J.W. Longaberger accepted an apprenticeship with The Dresden Basket Factory. Although the Dresden Basket Factory closed as a result of The Great Depression, he still made baskets on the weekends. He and his wife Bonnie Jean Longaberger (Gist) eventually raised enough money to purchase the closed basket factory and start a business of their own.[7]

One of J.W. and Bonnie's children, Dave, opened J.W.'s Handwoven Baskets in 1973. Starting in 1978, the company began selling Longaberger baskets through home shows using a direct marketing model. Each basket is handmade, signed and dated by the maker.[citation needed]

It was announced in February 2016 that the Basket Building would be closed, and remaining employees would relocate to Longaberger's manufacturing plant in Frayzesburg, Ohio. [8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tim, Feran (April 25, 2013). (April 25, 2013). The Columbus Dispatch http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2013/04/25/longaberger-new-owner-seeking-more-direct-sales-companies.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Sullivan, Mary Ann. "Longaberger Company Home Office". Art History Webmaster Assoc. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  3. ^ The Longaberger Company. "Longaberger Facts & Features". Retrieved 2012-11-26. 
  4. ^ Zurcher, Neil (2008). Ohio Oddities 2nd Edition. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59851-047-8
  5. ^ Mallett, Kent (July 8, 2016). "Longaberger empties famous basket building next week". Newark Advocate. USA Today. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  6. ^ Mallett, Kent (May 5, 2015). "Tami Longaberger resigns as company CEO". Newark Advocate. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  7. ^ The Longaberger Company. "The History of The Longaberger Company". Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  8. ^ http://www.whio.com/news/news/national/iconic-longaberger-headquarters-close/nqY6q/?ecmp=whiotv_social_facebook_2014_sfp

See also[edit]

Media related to The Longaberger Company at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 40°3′49″N 82°20′48″W / 40.06361°N 82.34667°W / 40.06361; -82.34667