Layoffs at Brookshire Bros.

Economy, competition lead grocery, c-store company to trim staff following efficiency study

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

LUFKIN, Texas -- Brookshire Brothers said Friday that it is reducing its corporate staff by 47 people. The employee-owned company said it brought in a consultant to examine every aspect of the grocer's operation, from the checker to the CEO. The study revealed the 72-store grocery chain and its 30 Polk Pick It Up gas station/convenience stores could increase their efficiency by consolidating some positions and outsourcing others. The consolidation takes place immediately.

The process was motivated by a desire to increase its competitiveness and deal with the challenges of [image-nocss] a tough economy, the company said. Based on the results of the company review and further study, the 47 positions were been eliminated. These changes will enable Brookshire Brothers to emerge as a stronger company, it said.

"Many companies have been required to look at what they do well and where they can improve. This move is painful for all of us, but it will help us be more competitive in the long run," the company said in a statement.

Each of the affected employees has been offered a confidential severance package.

The company assured its customers throughout Texas and Louisiana, "Our focus remains on our customers and the communities we serve. We will continue to be a vibrant company committed to exceptional customer service and a good corporate citizen in the towns and cities where our customers live. They are our neighbors and our friends."The layoffs will not directly affect the daily operations of the Brookshire Brothers or Polk Pick It Up stores. "There are no layoffs at the store level, as far as the rank-and-file employees who work in the convenience stores," spokesperson Sally Alvis told CSP Daily News. "These were all corporate reductions based on consolidation of jobs, outsourcing some functions of the company."

The layoffs "were targeted within the corporate structure," occurring in the corporate office, the central bakery and the warehouse and distribution center, she said, and some corporate-level fuel jobs may have been consolidated, she added.
Brookshire Brothers remains a 100% employee-owned company with approximately 5,900 people in two states.