In The News

Company reverses plans to close former Liz Claiborne West Chester facility


In good Butler County job news, the former Liz Claiborne distribution center in West Chester Twp. won’t close after all.

The center’s current owners, New York, N.Y.-based Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc., said the facility will stay open.

Originally Liz Claiborne, amid efforts to reduce debt and aggressively manage costs, announced in 2011 its West Chester Twp. distribution center would close.

Later in 2012, the Liz Claiborne business changed names to Fifth & Pacific Companies as a way to focus on its brands Juicy Couture, kate spade and Lucky Brand. The Liz Claiborne name brand was sold to J.C. Penney.

The distribution center, 8741 Jacquemin Drive, West Chester Twp., was supposed to close Sept. 1 2012, cutting 365 jobs, according to a layoff notice the company filed last year with Ohio Office of Workforce Development. Work was being transferred to a distribution center in California.

Now Fifth & Pacific is saying that the California distribution center was taking too long and costing too much to open.

Plans are back on for Ohio.

Fifth & Pacific has hired the third party logistics provider Ridge Global Services to run West Chester Twp. operations.

“We have already begun the transition back to our Ohio distribution facility and expect to complete this transition during Q2,” George Carrara, Fifth & Pacific chief financial officer, told investors in a conference call discussing the company’s 2012 results. He spoke Feb. 21.

More information was not available Thursday about how many employees are working at the West Chester Twp. distribution center now, and if any layoffs occurred last year.