Keene-based C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. — one of the country’s largest wholesale grocery suppliers and one of its biggest private companies — plans to lay off about 25 workers, N.H. Deputy Labor Commissioner Rudolph Ogden III said Tuesday.
Ogden said that the employees involved have been notified and that their jobs would end “in the next few weeks.”
Responding to a query from The Sentinel, Ogden said the labor department contacted the company to see if the layoff involved enough employees to trigger provisions of the N.H. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
The WARN Act requires companies to notify state and local officials of mass layoffs or plant closures. The act defines a mass layoff as at least 250 workers or at least 25 if this constitutes 33 percent of a company’s workforce.
The Sentinel reported in 2019 that the company employed nearly 15,000 people, including more than 1,100 in Keene. The company’s website shows a list of nearly three dozen C&S locations across the country, but only the Keene headquarters in New Hampshire.
Lauren La Bruno, the company’s vice president for communication, said in an email Tuesday that “we do not have any layoffs underway.
“There are periodically individual changes in the normal course of business. It is a long-standing practice of C&S Wholesale Grocers not to comment on questions concerning corporate transactions or personnel changes,” she wrote.
She did not respond to a follow-up email seeking further details of the layoff.
C&S is No. 8 on the 2021 Forbes List of America’s Largest Private Companies, with an estimated $25 billion in annual revenue.
The company was founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores and independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions, it says on its website.