MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Family Dollar announced to employees Wednesday that it will close its West Memphis, Arkansas distribution center, which was linked to a rodent infestation that led to recalls and store closures.
The facility will close on or about July 17, at which time 230 employees will be separated from the company, according to a letter sent from Family Dollar to West Memphis Mayor Marco McLendon. Another 90 employees will be separated Oct. 15.
Randy Guiler, Vice President for Investor Relations, said in a statement:
Like most companies, we regularly assess our operational footprint to ensure we are running our business in the most effective and responsible way. As a result of that process, we determined the nearly 30-year-old facility in West Memphis would not be adequate to allow us to continue serving the needs and requirements of our stores and customers served by the distribution center.
This was a difficult decision we did not take lightly, especially because of our outstanding team in West Memphis, our relationship with the community, and the partnership we have had with the State of Arkansas since 1994. We are committed to treating impacted associates fairly and respectfully, and we are doing everything we can to support them with their transitions, including providing severance plans to those who are eligible, as well as offering outplacement services and employee assistance programs.
In February, 404 stores temporarily closed after an inspector with the Food and Drug Administration found more than 1,000 dead rodents at the West Memphis facility over a five-day span in January.
A report from the FDA states more than 2,300 live rodents were captured in the facility from March to September of 2021.
In April, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming Family Dollar made significant profits while “knowingly exposing Arkansas consumers to potentially hazardous or contaminated products by allowing and failing to prevent long-lasting and massive rodent infestations and other unsanitary conditions at its West Memphis Distribution center.”
The 850,000 square foot warehouse opened in West Memphis in 1994. It serves stores in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement Wednesday afternoon after hearing of the closing.
Family Dollar is punishing hundreds of hardworking Arkansas families instead of cleaning up the company’s own, illegal business practices that put their employees and consumers at risk. Rather than eliminating jobs, Family Dollar should eliminate deceptive and dangerous conduct.Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Just over 300 jobs will be impacted from the closing.