The smell of donuts and bread will no longer be wafting over Downtown area now that the Kroger Bakery has closed.
“As a company, we must be able to adapt to the ever-changing retail environment and meet the needs of our customers,” wrote Kroger. “After evaluation of the equipment and layout of the plant, it became clear that the outdated layout and age of the equipment were no longer sustainable for us to remain competitive.”
In a statement released this morning, Kroger says the Cleveland Ave. bakery’s 411 employees will be paid normally for 60 days, then they will receive severance packages based on years of service.
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Kroger added that the company values the hard work of the Columbus Bakery associates, and the closure is “no reflection of their effort.”
Below is the full statement.
Today, the Kroger Family of Companies announced the closure of our Columbus Bakery facility, effective immediately. We are in a highly competitive business environment that is driving our company to ensure all areas of our business are meeting their full potential. As a company, we must be able to adapt to the ever-changing retail environment and meet the needs of our customers.
After evaluation of the equipment and layout of the plant, it became clear that the outdated layout and age of the equipment were no longer sustainable for us to remain competitive. Production at the plant will cease immediately and the process of decommissioning its operations is expected to take 60 – 90 days.
The company will honor the terms outlined in the collective bargaining agreements meaning that all Columbus Bakery associates will be paid as they normally would for 60 days before receiving severance based on years of service as outlined in their collective bargaining agreements. Additional services through Lee Hecht Harrison will be offered to eligible associates to participate in career building workshops, and all associates are encouraged to consider available positions in other Kroger facilities and business units. The company values the contributions of the Columbus Bakery associates, and this closure is no reflection on their effort.
As a company, we continuously evaluate the efficiencies of our operations to ensure that every Kroger Manufacturing facility is meeting its full potential. At this time, there are no plans to close other facilities in our network.