Wolverine Cuts 150 Jobs at Kentucky Distribution Center

Wolverine Worldwide is laying off 150 employees as part of its ongoing transformation strategy.

According to a WARN notice filed on Tuesday, the company is permanently closing its distribution center at 6001 Cane Run Rd. in Louisville, Ky., and is ending the employment of all 150 workers at that location. Employment separations are expected to start on or about May 3, 2024, the notice said.

In December, Wolverine finalized the sale of its Kentucky distribution center, generating $23 million of cash in the fourth quarter of 2023. Despite the sale, the company said at the time that Saucony and Sperry brands would continue to operate out of this facility under a lease agreement. But this no longer seems to be the case.

Sourcing Journal has reached out to Wolverine Worldwide for comment.

The site closure comes after months of divestitures and cost cutting measures. Other previously announced asset monetization transactions in 2023 generated approximately $227 million in proceeds, including Keds, Hush Puppies intellectual property in China, Wolverine Leathers, and the new operating model for Merrell and Saucony in Greater China.

In January, Wolverine Worldwide found a buyer for its Sperry brand. Brand management firm Authentic Brands Group snapped up the preppy shoe label, with Aldo Group serving as Sperry’s North American operating partner for wholesale, e-commerce and store operations, as well as the brand’s partner for footwear design, production and distribution globally.

Wolverine said in a statement at the time that the transaction closed on January 10 and would generate total proceeds of approximately $130 million in the first quarter to pay down debt.

Another round of layoffs came in November when the company revealed a new total workforce reduction and organizational redesign as it looked to “streamline” the organization. Wolverine did not disclose the number of employees affected by this move, and when contacted by FN at the time, a company representative declined to provide further information about who or what areas of the business might be impacted.

Other costs reductions came in August, when Wolverine announced it would close its Boston headquarters by the end of the year. Wolverine’s Boston office housed the company’s Sperry, Saucony and Keds brands since it acquired them in 2012, as well as its Kids Group.

In December 2022, Wolverine began laying off an undisclosed number of workers. And in March, the company said it was preparing to lay off employees in its Sweaty Betty brand and announced other changes to improve the business, such as consolidating office space in London and having Sweaty Betty report into the company’s London-based International Group, which oversees business outside the U.S. and is headed up by Isabel Soriano.

This new round of layoffs comes just days after the Rockford, Mich.-based footwear company reported that overall net revenues for the fiscal year 2023 fell 16.5 percent to $2.24 billion frente a $2.68 billion in 2022. As for the company’s fourth quarter performance, Wolverine Worldwide reported that its net revenues in the period fell 20.8 percent to $526.7 million frente a $665.0 million the same time last year.

Looking ahead, the company is forecasting revenue for full year 2024 to be approximately $1.70 billion to $1.75 billion, representing a decline of approximately 12.2 percent to 14.7 percent compared to 2023.

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