Lillian Vernon Plans New Headquarters, Seeks Room to Grow

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Lillian Vernon Corp. will say goodbye to its Rye, NY, headquarters but will stay in Westchester County by relocating to nearby White Plains, a city about 20 miles north of New York City that is experiencing significant growth.


The direct marketing giant and Direct Holdings Worldwide LLC, the parent company of Lillian Vernon and Direct Holdings U.S. Corp. (which owns the business formerly known as Time Life Inc.), said yesterday they will move their corporate headquarters to 445 Hamilton Ave. in downtown White Plains in the fall.


Lillian Vernon and Direct Holdings Worldwide are based in Rye. The Time Life headquarters will stay in Alexandria, VA.


The new location will house 130 employees, including the executive offices, merchandising, creative, online, finance, business-to-business, marketing, inventory control, quality assurance, human resources and public relations departments. The company will lease 52,652 square feet on the ninth and 10th floors and have options on two more floors.


Direct Holdings' national distribution center and call center are in Virginia Beach, VA. Direct Holdings also operates a call center in Chicago.


The Time Life name is used under license from Time Warner Inc. Direct Holdings was formed from the acquisition of Lillian Vernon and Time Life Inc. by Ripplewood Holdings and ZelnickMedia Corp.


David Hochberg, Lillian Vernon's spokesperson, said the move had been in the works for months, prompted by two reasons.


"The options on the other two floors give us room for growth, which we don't have in Rye, and the economics of the new space were advantageous," said Hochberg, who didn't comment on details of the lease.


Staying in Westchester was an important consideration.


"That's where our CEO, Strauss Zelnick, and most of our staff live," he said.


Lillian Vernon has been in Rye for five years. Previous locations included the Westchester cities of New Rochelle and Mount Vernon.


"The company is considering and testing several initiatives, and if we go forward with any one of those initiatives we will need more space," he said. "The goal is to grow the business."


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