Dr. Martens to Close Portland Distribution Center and Lay Off 71 People

Dr. Martens will close its distribution center in Portland, Ore., leaving 71 employees without a job.

As per a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN Notice, sent on Wednesday, the UK-based footwear brand will permanently close its Anchor Park distribution center and carry out layoffs between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31. 71 employees at the center, none of which are represented by a union, will be permanently laid off without the option for other roles in the company.

In a statement to FN, Dr. Martens said the closure comes as a result of an investment in a new distribution center in Los Angeles, a larger space meant to support the brand’s growth in the U.S.

“Regretfully, this will mean the gradual wind-down and eventual closure of our existing, smaller Anchor Park hub in Portland,” the company said in a statement. “As a business we will be doing everything we can to support the affected colleagues in Portland with generous severance pay, extended health care benefits, retraining and other help with finding alternative work.”

Dr. Martens’ office in Portland will remain open.

The footwear company in January reported slowing revenue growth in the third quarter of 2021. Dr. Martens said this was due to continued supply chain issues affecting its wholesale business as well as renewed COVID restrictions across the world in December.

Despite these issues, Dr. Martens still reported revenues in the third quarter rising 11% to £307 million, or $412 million at current exchange. This marks a slowdown from the 16% growth of £369.9 million, or $487.9 million, in the prior quarter.

Last month, the UK-based footwear tapped Darren McKoy — known to many at Dr. Martens as ‘DMac’ — as global creative director, helping to lead the company’s design and product teams. McKoy will oversee the brand’s design team to act as both “brand custodian” and “innovator” in order to “chart a new course for the brand.”

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