TROY — The United Retail distribution center located on Experiment Farm Road has closed its doors.
Last week, approximately 80 employees were laid off from the distribution center.
Troy Economic Development Director Jim Dando said the closing of the United Retail distribution was “a little bit of a surprise.”
Dando said at its peak in the mid-1990s, the distribution center had around 300-350 employees. Dando said approximately 80 employees, mostly part-time, were left at the center before its abrupt closing last Wednesday. Dando said their office was informed about the closing from an employee last week.
“They’ve been cutting back for years,” Dando said, noting the Troy’s store The Avenue, the clothing store that carried the items on its shelves from the distribution center, closed several years ago. Dando said RD Dayton LLC, an investment group out of Lakewood, N.J., purchased the property in January 2019 for $13.1 million and was leasing the facility to United Retail.
“It’s all related to the changing retail landscape,” Dando said.
Dando said the facility has 300,000 square feet of building space outfitted with conveyor systems.
“It’ll be a nice building and distribution center for somebody,” Dando said.
The facility used to distribute clothing for several plus-size brands until it focused mainly on its The Avenue store brands.
United Distribution purchased land to build the 128-acre distribution center in 1992 for $2.3 million. According to records, United Distribution Services Inc. then sold the building to Ornatus Urg Real Estate LLC for $3.5 million in 2013. On Jan. 2, 2019, Ornatus Urg Real Estate LLC sold the property to RD Dayton LLC for $13.1 million.
According to RetailDive.com, on Monday plus-size apparel retailer Avenue filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development in New Jersey for its Rochelle Park location, saying it will let go 152 employees effective Sept. 30, according to document filings. WARN requires employers to provide 60 days advance notice of closings and mass layoffs.
The New York Post reported last week that the retailer has 60 days to find a buyer or all of its stores will close, which the newspaper stated was around 260 stores. Sourcing Journal also reported on Aug. 2 that stores are closing, although it did not indicate how many.
When asked about the closures, Versa Capital Management, the private equity firm that owns Avenue, said in a statement emailed to Retail Dive, “We remain focused on Avenue as a retail destination for style-minded, plus-size women.”
Reach Melanie Yingst at email@example.com
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