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May 23, 2024

Financial issues threaten 154 jobs at Bob’s Stores, Eastern Mountain Sports warehouse in Meriden

COSTAR The Bob's Stores, Eastern Mountain Sports warehouse, at 160 Corporate Court, in Meriden.

The president of retailers Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports has informed state labor officials that the companies expect to lay off a combined 154 employees who work at a warehouse in Meriden.

Both companies are owned by Los Angeles-based GoDigital Media Group and share warehouse and office space at 160 Corporate Court, in Meriden.

GoDigital purchased Eastern Mountain and Bob’s Stores in 2022 for $70 million from U.K.-based Frasers Group plc. At the time of the deal, GoDigital said it added 900 employees, 42 stores and a warehouse and fulfillment center.

David Barton, who leads Bob’s and Eastern Mountain, in a WARN notice to the state Department of Labor, wrote that the company plans to lay off by May 31 a combined 154 workers who report to the Meriden location unless “the company is able to secure alternate funding.”

“We are taking this action because of business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable,” Barton wrote. “We would like to have given you more notice of this action but were unable to do so because the bank has informed us within the last week that it will refuse to fund the employee health insurance premiums, 401K administration, payroll, as well as other critical financial obligations which, if not paid, will likely prevent us from being able to operate the business going forward. As of this date, they remain firm on their position despite our continuing best efforts to convince them otherwise. Unfortunately, the circumstances leading to this layoff were not reasonably foreseeable at an earlier date. We are currently seeking alternative funding sources, but we cannot guarantee a favorable outcome.”

No further details about the financial issues were provided. 

The layoffs would impact 145 Bob’s Stores employees and nine Eastern Mountain Sports workers, according to the WARN notice. 

It’s not clear if any retail locations will be affected.

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