Shinola has garnered a lot of headlines across the country as a luxury brand that’s “Made in Detroit.”
With a headquarters in the city (as well as a watchmaking operation, two stores and now a boutique hotel), the company has wrapped itself in the Detroit comeback story.
But we’ve had inklings ever since the departure of former CEO Jacques Panis — along with numerous stories we’ve heard about layoffs at stores — that there may be trouble in paradise.
According to Brian Ambrozy, a former employee, and other sources connected to the company, more than 20 people have been laid off. It’s not clear whether the layoffs were all in Shinola’s Detroit headquarters.
Daily Detroit has reached out to Shinola through multiple channels to confirm the layoff numbers, where they occurred and in which departments, but have not received a reply.
One of the reasons it may be harder than in previous years to learn more? From our earlier interactions and research, most of the public relations work seems to have moved from Detroit to New York City.
Shinola launched in 2011, resurrecting the brand name of the Shinola shoe polish company. Based on research that people will pay more of a premium for something “Made In Detroit” than “Made in America,” the company started with watches and has expanded to a variety of leather and specialty goods.
The company is owned and operated by Texas-based investment group Bedrock Manufacturing, who also owns Filson. Their current CEO is former Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand, who joined the company in June of 2016.
We’ll keep you updated as we know more and touch on it with tomorrow’s podcast.
Sven Gustafson contributed to this story.