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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 1 month ago

Layoffs coming ahead of support center move

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Ace Hardware is laying off 181 employees ahead of its move from Tampa to Plant City
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

TAMPA — Ace Hardware Corp. is laying off 181 employees at its Tampa retail support center as it prepares to move to Plant City later this year.

According to a filing to meet federally mandated Worker Adjustments Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act requirements, the layoffs will be effective Feb. 5.

In a letter to Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and the state, the company’s national human resources director Jamie Bonin says the Tampa center at 1220 U.S. 301 is permanently closing on or about that date. The center, which opened in 1977, services about 200 stores in the region.

The company, when it announced the new retail support center was being built in Plant City last year, said 119 Tampa employees had agreed to transfer. According to the letter, the first group of employees will begin moving to the Plant City facility Dec. 15.

In all, the company said last year, the facility would employ 162 people.

Bronin says in the letter that the company will offer employees losing their jobs at the Tampa center “equivalent opportunities” at the new location “in the interim.”

It is unclear if employees hired on for the “interim” will have an opportunity to earn a permanent position. Bronin did not respond to an email seeking clarification.

Ace Hardware announced last year that it was building the 715,000-square-foot center on County Line Road. The company said at the time that the bigger facility was needed to address greater demand. The Tampa support center is about 400,000 square feet.

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