Vitamin Shoppe Inc (NYSE:VSI), a New Jersey-based retailer of nutritional supplements, has quietly announced plans to terminate 139 employees and close a warehouse and distribution center in North Bergen as early as December 1, 2017.
The Syracuse-based company filed the layoff notices with the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, as is required by law. The company itself has not yet commented publicly on the closure and job losses.
A company spokesperson said operations will be shifted from North Bergan to other distribution centers, including those in Arizona and Virginia. Those employees whose jobs are being permanently terminated were given the opportunity to relocate.
Vitamin Shoppe said that even though its lease in North Bergen doesn’t expire until August 31, 2018, it decided to close the facility now. The closure and transition of operations is expected to be wrapped up by the end of 2017.
“In addition to the lease expiration, we did not feel that there was a need for another (distribution center) on the East Coast,” a spokesperson said.
Office employees in North Bergen were not affected by the closure.
Vitamin Shoppe Subsidiary Launching China Platform
Interestingly, the announced closure of the warehouse in North Bergen and layoffs comes at the same time that its subsidiary, Vitamin Shoppe Global, Inc., has launched an online sales platform in China.
Vitamin Shoppe Global, Inc. has launched its first digital platform in China; this is the fourth new international market the company has entered over the past two years. The company is partnering with Macy’s China Limited via Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (NYSE:BABA) online shopping platform, Tmall Global.
Vitamin Shoppe’s goods will be shipped to China from its new West Coast distribution center, located in Arizona. The new distribution center in Arizona will allow Vitamin Shoppe to deliver products to the Chinese consumer in less than two weeks.
“The Asian vitamin, mineral and supplement market is an attractive market for us exhibiting a growth rate of 6% per year and is projected to reach $20 billion in the next five years, according to Nutrition Business Journal, and we are pleased that we are able to secure ease of entry into China,” said David Denker, Director of International Development.
“W.A.R.N. Notice – October 2017,” New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, October 6, 2017.
“Vitamin Shoppe closing N. Bergen distribution center; 139 jobs affected,” Return on Information – New Jersey, October 6, 2017.
“Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. Announces Entrance into China,” Vitamin Shoppe Inc, October 2, 2017.