WEST HARTFORD, CONN. -- Citing sluggish sales and expectations of a slow holiday season, Coleco Industries Inc. has laid off 60 workers, or about 10 percent of the work force, at its West Hartford headquarters.
The toy company said those laid off ranged from vice presidents to clerical workers. The reduction, which is effective immediately, drops the employment at Coleco headquarters to about 550 people.
"This is in response to an anticipated decline in consumer spending during the holidays and the first half of 1988," said Barbara Wruck, Coleco's vice president of corporate communications. "Coleco is intensifying its cost reduction efforts throughout the company."
In the past two years, Coleco has laid off about 560 people at facilities in West Hartford, New York and Montreal.
With its layoff, Coleco joins other U.S. toy companies that have cut staff in response to sluggish sales. Worlds of Wonder Inc., Lewis Galoob Toys Inc. and Mattel Inc., all in California, also have laid off employes this year.
Industry analysts said they expect layoffs at Kenner Parker Inc. in Massachusetts and possibly at Hasbro Inc. in Rhode Island.
In 1986, Coleco lost $111.2 million ($6.52 per share) on sales of $501 million.
The company has been plagued by cash flow problems, high debt levels and slow sales of many of its products throughout 1987.
Gary Jacobson, an analyst with Kidder Peabody Inc. in New York City, predicted that the company would post a loss of 35 cents a share this year, while analyst Sean McGowan of Balis Zorn Gerard Inc. in New York estimated that losses could reach 50 cents to $1 per share.
Coleco's better-known toys include Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and a line of stuffed toys based on the prime-time television character Alf.