Ace Hardware laying off 86 workers from West Plains distribution center

Mar. 17—Washington state officials announced Friday that 86 workers would be laid off in May from a large distribution center west of Spokane that is owned by Ace Hardware Corp.

The layoffs are coming from the Ace Hardware Retail Support Center, at 10110 W. Aero Road. That facility had been the Jensen Distribution Services before it sold to Ace Hardware in 2015.

The notice came Friday from the Washington state Employment Security Department. It indicated that the 86 employees would be permanently laid off by May 17.

Reached in person at the distribution center, Human Resources Manager Darlene Ferguson said she could not comment and directed inquiries to Ace's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Efforts to reach corporate spokespersons Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Several area Ace Hardware managers contacted Friday said they were unaware of the layoffs and confirmed that the reduction in force had nothing to do with the several retail locations, which are independently owned and operated.

At the time of the sale in 2015, Jensen Distribution had 254 employees and more than 2,000 customers in 11 Western states.

Jensen Distribution was founded in 1883 and was called Jensen-Byrd until the mid-1990s.