Publishers Clearing House at 300 Jericho Quadrangle in a 2019...

Publishers Clearing House at 300 Jericho Quadrangle in a 2019 photo. Credit: Newsday/William Perlman

Publishers Clearing House, the Jericho-based sweepstakes and magazine subscription company, plans to lay off 156 workers at its headquarters starting in July, according to a state filing.

PCH, known for its prize patrols and oversized checks, said in a state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filing that nearly half of the 393 workers at its 300 Jericho Quadrangle headquarters would be let go from July 19, 2024, to Feb. 28, 2025. The company said the layoffs are due to the “winddown and eventual closure” of its commerce line of business. Direct marketing to consumers has been part of the business.

Founded in Port Washington in 1953 by Harold and LuEsther Mertz and daughter Joyce Mertz-Gilmore, Publishers, in addition to the sweepstakes that market magazines, creates digital games and runs online contests.

The layoffs are “a strategic response to the reality of heightened postal, shipping and supply chain costs along with the ongoing challenges that emerged from the post-pandemic world,” the company said. “This difficult decision comes after exhaustive analysis and careful consideration of PCH’s operational realities and the need to prioritize resources in areas for growth moving forward.”

The company said the closure will allow it to focus on its “core strengths and competitive advantages of providing consumers free-to-play digital entertainment and games while delivering identity and data-driven advertising solutions for advertisers, consumer researchers, data and ad tech companies.”

Publishers said the layoffs will not impact its sweepstakes, which have given out $593 million in prizes over the years.

“These decisions are never easy and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the impacted employees for their dedication and contributions that they have made,” Publishers said. “The company will be working with each during this transition.”

In 2015, the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency awarded Publishers and its landlord, The We’Re Group, millions of dollars in tax breaks to keep the company’s headquarters and its more than 400 jobs in the county as part of a $37 million redevelopment project.

The We’Re Group received a 20-year deal on property taxes, in addition to a sales tax exemption of up to $1.4 million for construction materials and equipment to upgrade 300 Jericho Quadrangle. Publishers also received a sales tax exemption of up to $1.6 million on its purchases of equipment for the site.

To date, Publishers and its landlord have received more than $4.6 million in property tax breaks, according to figures from the New York State Authorities Budget Office.

In a statement, Sheldon L. Shrenkel, chief executive and executive director of the Nassau County IDA, said the agency was aware of Publishers’ state layoff filing and was working with the company to address its job commitments.

“The Agency is continuing to work with Publishers to find a mutually satisfactory solution that will maximize the number of jobs to be retained at the Jericho facility,” Shrenkel said.

The IDA did not address whether it would be clawing back any tax breaks.

In early 2020, Publishers announced it would be closing its Melville mail processing facility that spring, laying off 109 employees there.

WARN, the state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, requires that companies with 50 full-time employees or more file a notice of a mass layoff or a closing 90 days in advance.

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