Depending on what you read, or who you talk to, word today that the once iconic Longaberger Basket Company is out of business is one of several things.
It is either a sign of changing consumer preferences and marketing, or simply a case of bad management on the part of those entrusted to run a company that once boasted sales of a billion dollars a year, and was famous for making pricy hand-made baskets that were sold at house parties around the country.
Longaberger Basket Company had been in declining fiscal health for years, and the family whose patriarch had founded and built the company with its famous Newark Ohio headquarters sold it to Texas firm some years ago.
Of late, Longaberger had laid off the last of its 8,000 workers while it’s headquarters languished in disrepair.
Wall street says the company fell victim to online sales and changing consumer tastes.
Locals in the area near the company say the members of the family who took it over were guilty of bad management and poor investing.
Whatever the reason, the Longaberger baskets that adorn lots of tables in our area, are now nothing more than retail orphans.
That’s the way I see it.