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A Lucky staffer confirmed exclusively to Racked that she and "a bunch" of her colleagues were laid off this weekend after the magazine’s parent company failed to receive vital investment funds, signaling the end of the now-quarterly print publication and a scaling back of its digital efforts.
"I got a phone call last night around dinnertime," says the source, who worked on the digital team and asked to remain anonymous. Her direct boss—who Racked is choosing not to identify by name—"let me know that the deal that they were trying to put in place that they had been talking about for the past two weeks, that the investor side of things had fallen through. And that they decided that they couldn’t continue on with the print magazine and that they were bringing the web down to a very small group… It was sort of like this is the ‘unofficial official’ call giving you a heads up that this is happening."
The source was told that Lucky will "try to keep [their] e-commerce going and the content site going as long as they can. That seems to be the plan as of now. But it’s very up in the air as to what’s going to happen." As of early this afternoon, staff members had not received an email about the fate of their company.
This morning, the source voluntarily packed up her cubicle, located at Lucky’s temporary office space in midtown. "When I came in today it was like, ‘[Do] whatever you need to do.’…There were no real instructions other than general HR paperwork kind of stuff that I filled out."
"I just left. I was getting my stuff together, organizing things, saying goodbye to people," said the source, who described the mood at the office as "very quiet and sad. The print people are packing everything up."
Last month a spokesperson for The Lucky Group (a 2014 merger between Condé Nast and West Coast-based retailer Beachmint) confirmed that the May issue would be Lucky’s final edition as a monthly magazine, announcing that 14 employees had recently been let go (eight from advertising and six from editorial). Publisher and Lucky Group President Gillian Gorman Round was among the May departures. Editor-in-chief/chief creative officer Eva Chen stepped down back in April. An additional 10 staffers left the company in February, two on their own accord. Thus the staffer who spoke to Racked was upset but not shocked by the news.
"We’ve been going through this for the last few months, so I think people are pretty resigned to it." she said.
The source revealed that her final paycheck was dated today. "That’s the last payment that I will receive," she was told. She will not be receiving severance.
Condé Nast published the first issue of Lucky, the so-called "magazine about shopping," in December 2000. Calls for comment from Condé Nast and The Lucky Group were not returned.
Yesterday’s phone call was very sympathetic, said the source, who calls her former boss "fantastic" and their relationship "great." "Everybody feels terrible that it didn’t work out… It’s sad for me to see the brand go away because I really, really loved it and really believed in it."
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