Mar 20, 2009
AmericasMart Cuts 10 Percent of Staff

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, AmericasMart (AMC), the 7.7-million-square-foot retail and gift complex in downtown Atlanta, has laid off just under 10 percent of its staff of about 250.

Developed by Atlanta architect John Portman in 1962, the giant mart competes with facilities nationwide to host shows for apparel makers, brokers and retailers of home accessories, garden gear and gifts.

A statement from Portman’s son, Jeff Portman, who is president and chief operating officer of AmericasMart, says the company is making the cuts “for long-term growth and profitability. As a result we adjusted our staffing levels by less than 10 percent.”

Portman exchanged an e-mail with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but would not answer specific questions about the number of employees laid off or whether they were offered severance pay. AMC is owned by John Portman & Associates.

The mart hosts five of the top 20 conventions in Atlanta annually.

A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress and former president of Portman Holdings, said the mart has been “a critical part of our community” for nearly 50 years.

“It’s a worldwide business that they’re in, attracting and exhibiting buyers from all over the world,” Robinson said. “You just have to prepare yourself to fare well in the future. We are optimistic they know what they’re doing.”

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