clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Plenty of People P'd Off About Georgette Klinger Shuttering

New, 24 comments

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Judging from the myriad comments left since we posted about it in December, the sudden closure of Georgette Klinger spas nationwide has angered quite a few people. Like all of the chain's outposts, their New York City location at 501 Madison Avenue closed its doors without warning in mid-December. One reader was so infuriated, he penned a lengthy email about the situation, and sent it to the Racked Inbox. It's a harrowing look at what can happen when a such a company folds. Sadly, letter writing is probably the only recourse that spa-goers, many who are out big bucks, have, since Klinger is completely bankrupt. The letter begins:

I am writing you in response to your article on Georgette Klinger closing its facility in New York City back on December 20th. Not only did Klinger close its Palm Beach facility, but it closed all of its facilities at once. Not only did they close all of their facilities they did not pay any of their employees at any of the facilities for their final two and a half weeks. In addition, the staff was given no warning that the company would be closing or that they would not pay them for their work. As if this action was not repulsive enough, the management decided to close the doors on Wednesday, December 19th, only one week prior to Christmas. Additionally, the employees were expected to be paid that Friday, December 21, and were not given any warning that they would not be receiving their pay checks. Personally, this is one of the worst closings I have ever heard of but just given the fact that nobody was warned, combined with the fact that it happened one week prior to Christmas is absolutely shocking.
Apparently, the spa offered rewards cards that regular clients could load with money (the limit was $1500). So many folks who did so are out hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That's gotta sting.
I am writing you in response to your article on Georgette Klinger closing its facility in New York City back on December 20th. Not only did Klinger close its Palm Beach facility, but it closed all of its facilities at once. Not only did they close all of their facilities they did not pay any of their employees at any of the facilities for their final two and a half weeks. In addition, the staff was given no warning that the company would be closing or that they would not pay them for their work. As if this action was not repulsive enough, the management decided to close the doors on Wednesday, December 19th, only one week prior to Christmas. Additionally, the employees were expected to be paid that Friday, December 21, and were not given any warning that they would not be receiving their pay checks. Personally, this is one of the worst closings I have ever heard of but just given the fact that no body was warned, combined with the fact that it happened one week prior to Christmas is absolutely shocking. Furthermore, at the Chicago facility the VP of the company, Sean Donaldson, met with the staff only two weeks prior to the closing and told all of the staff definitively that they would not be closing and that everything was fine. A day or two after the closing a follow up call was made to the CFO of the company, Daniel Hayes, regarding whether or not the workers would be receiving their checks and he stated that they would not, and he did not seem to express any remorse for the company doing so.

Additionally, many clients bought special rewards cards, called black cards, with significant sums of money on them, most ranging from $500 up to $1500, and were offered no refund or warning that the store may be closing so that they could use up the balance on their cards. Also, many orders were taken for products that at the time were not in stock at the facilities and to my knowledge since the closing these orders have not and are believed to not be filled. Finally, many of the women from the company have worked with the business for 10, 15 and sometimes 20 or more years and have established great relationships with their customers over this time period. In the final day, corporate made it clear to the employees that it did not matter how long they have worked there or how much they have helped to make the company grow. In an email directly from the owner herself, Angela Krivulka, she stated that the client lists would not be given out to the employees for them to try and keep some of their clientele while they made a transition to their new location. Thus leaving these workers out in the cold and having to completely start over again from scratch as they had done twenty years prior. This is could be potentially devastating to some of the long tenured workers given the fact that they could be making over 60 or $70,000 a year and then be forced to start over again and possibly only make half of that amount somewhere else due to them not being able to keep in touch with their clients. It was also against company policy to ask clients for their phone numbers as a way of keeping in touch in the event that something like this would ever happen. As anyone would know dealing in the service industry and being paid on a commission basis, your clients and clientele means everything.

I am writing this to you because I feel it would be appropriate that you wrote a follow up article on the situation to inform the public just how rotten of a deal this was for the staff and its clients. Even though I doubt it, if enough people are upset by how poorly the management handled this and write back to yourself or the Klinger Corporation maybe then the management would try to rectify the situation somewhat by paying back the employees at least what they were owed in their last paycheck. Furthermore, I do not work for or have worked for the Klinger Corporation, I am simply writing this to you as a very interested party who is very close to the situation.

· Breaking RackedWire: Georgette Klinger Spa Bankrupt, Midtown Location Shuttered [Racked]