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Gordy's Market

Troubled Wisconsin grocer Gordy’s Market operates a store at 1607 George St., La Crosse.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — 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.


(8) comments


Gordy's collapse in a nutshell was that ownership was foolish, greedy and grew too fast. They bought perfectly good stores and did not know how to run so many stores and took on too much debt. It is not the employees fault, the blame is on the ownership. Most businesses will be sold and returned to their original state and employees should keep their jobs.


Something must have happened at or near the top management level in the Gordy's organization to cause this collapse. How can you have the ability to build a business with this many stores and then stand by not knowing (or fixing) what's causing that business to collapse? They don't sell minks or trips to Europe here, which could take a hit during economic down times. They sell food. Good times or bad, people have to have food. If your employees are rude or negligent with customers, and the shelves where food is kept are dirty, guess what? People are going to shop someplace else. I'm sorry, but somebody at the top was sleeping at the switch. How else could Festival be growing so strongly while Gordy's is collapsing? It's sad that that's happening to Gordy's and their employees, but you have to take care of the details, folks.


Can't Walker ramrod a tax cut through for this Wisconsin company? Make them a TIF district. Give them a cut on sales tax. Better yet give them a bunch of no strings attached loans that the state forgets about. There must be some way that the geniuses at the WEDC can save these 1008 jobs. If we have $3 billion for Foxcon from Tiawan and 3000 - 13,000 jobs (maybe), can't we save Gordy's and their 1008 jobs?


At least I won't have to watch their annoying commercials anymore...


Obviously the Gordy's Guru was nothing of the sorts... Won't be disappointed about their ads going away but feel bad for all of the employees.


Finally some appreciation..I was beginning to feel like the toilet, something that I have spent many initiate moments with only to see it literally flush all of my contributions to the relationship right down the drain! (I second your opinion about Festival Foods.)


I 'm sorry for all of the people who will be loosing their jobs..wait a moment, someone is at my front door. (My wife is a Walmart buying some cleaning supplies, fresh fruit and pork chops..22 to the bag, so I will have to get to the door. ) Stop barking Killer..he's my rescued German Shepard from the Military MP..kept terrifying the ISIS fighters and they didn't like that. Guess it was taking jobs away from our contract soldiers. I'll be right back to finish my comments on this situation. OK, I am back now. That was the corporate owned delivery service for Amazon delivering my groceries for the week.


I appreciate your irony, but I've been to the Gordy's on George Street, and I wasn't impressed. It wasn't just the less than clean surroundings but also the disinterested employees. This isn't the case at Festival Food.

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