Troubled Wisconsin grocer Gordy’s Market, which has stores from Rice Lake to La Crosse, announced Wednesday it will be laying off 1,008 workers by Oct. 28, unless it can find suitable buyer or buyers for Gordy’s stores.
“Please be aware that business circumstances may change and that all employees may not be permanently laid off if the Gordy’s entities are purchased and remain operational. It is impossible for us to determine at present which employees may be affected, if any,” said a letter sent to employees dated Tuesday by Michael S. Polsky.
Polsky was appointed last week as a receiver for Gordy’s, in charge of a financial restructuring of the company.
He continued: “If the Gordy’s entities are ultimately closed, or if the buyers do not hire any of the Gordy’s employees, we expect it to result in the permanent elimination of all 1,008 employees. This includes both union and non-union employees.”
“We regret having to make the decision; however business and industry circumstances leave us no alternative,” he wrote.
The layoff notice was disclosed by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The layoff, if it takes place, will dwarf any other in the state in 2017.
The largest previously announced layoff was made in April, when Gander Mountain announced it would lay off 371 workers.
According to the notice, the layoffs will be in the cities of Arcadia, Augusta, Barron, Black River Falls, Chetek, Chippewa Falls, Cornell, Eau Claire, Galesville, Hayward, La Crosse, Ladysmith, Neillsville, Rice Lake, Richland Center, Shell Lake, Spencer, Stanley, Tomah and Whitehall.
Some of the layoffs already have occurred. Gordy’s closed its south side Chippewa Falls store, along with Stanley and several other locations, including Hayward.
Gordy’s is selling one store in Tomah and two stores in Eau Claire to Festival Foods and is closing a third Eau Claire location along East Hamilton Avenue.
Last week the grocer was sued by its supplier, Nash Finch. Gordy’s appointed a receiver to run its financial affairs.
Gordy’s home office at its Lake Wissota location in Chippewa Falls had no comment about the notice from Polsky.