Residents of Coffeyville, Kansas found out today that the town will lose one of its largest employers. Amazon plans to shut down the fulfillment center that it opened there in 1999, leaving employees stranded without a job, the Wichita Eagle reported. The center will remain open through 2014, and shut down in February.
It’s unclear why the fulfillment center is getting shut down, especially since it was one of the facilities included in a major hiring push earlier this year. According to the report, Amazon said that it was closing the facility as a realignment of its distribution network. Right now, it’s not known how many employees will be affected by the closure.
The report said that local officials were aware Amazon was considering the warehouse closure for months, and offered incentives to get the company to stay. Apparently, that wasn’t enough to sway the online retail giant’s decision.
“This is not a decision we made lightly and we are committed to supporting our employees through this transition,” an Amazon spokesperson told GeekWire via email. “We regularly evaluate our network to ensure we are placing fulfillment centers as close to our customers as possible.”
The news comes as Amazon continues to expand its warehouse footprint around the world, with a push to open 15 new warehouses known as “sortation centers” this year in order to increase the speed it can deliver products. The company also recently announced that it would open a one-million square foot fulfillment center in Kent, Washington.