Aimia layoffs hit former Carlson Marketing unit

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 1, 2011 - 9:40 PM

Canadian parent confirms layoffs at Plymouth-based operation.

The company formerly known as Carlson Marketing has been hit by a round of layoffs as part of a global restructuring by its Canadian-based parent Aimia.

Aimia would not disclose the number of layoffs, believed to be around 50 to 75, but did acknowledge that there was a recent reduction in the workforce of the Plymouth-based office.

"These are some of the difficult changes we have to make in the U.S. because of competitive market pressures," said Aimia spokeswoman Michele Meier. "It is never a good time for such change, but as we enter 2012, we want to have the right staffing levels to better respond to the competition."

Globally, Meier said, Aimia is growing in the increasing complex field of consumer loyalty marketing. To meet that demand, Aimia had to realign operations in the Plymouth office and other U.S. offices.

"The market is changing, and we need to change the way we do things," she said. "We are expanding internationally, and we need to have the right structure and the right talent in the right place."

Meier noted that the Plymouth office specialized in proprietary loyalty programs that often focused on the relationship between a single brand and the consumer.

"We want to offer a full suite of loyalty marketing services ...with a multipartner program," Meier said.

Montreal-based Aimia has 3,800 employees worldwide and 850 in the United States, nearly 700 whom are in Minnesota.

Carlson Marketing, a onetime division of the Carlson business empire that includes hotels, restaurants and travel services, was acquired by an affiliate of Aimia in 2009 and changed its name to Aimia earlier this fall.

On its Web page, Aimia refers to Carlson Marketing as "one of the most storied brands in loyalty marketing, with a history that stretches back to 1938 with Curt Carlson's launch of the Gold Bond Stamp Company."

David Phelps • 612-673-7269

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