(KRON) — Meal-kit company HelloFresh is closing its production facility in Richmond in a move that could see more than 600 people laid off. The Berlin-based company confirmed to KRON4 that the Richmond facility’s lease is expiring at the end of the year and that the company won’t be renewing it.
“The lease for HelloFresh’s production facility in Richmond is expiring at the beginning of 2023 and after an extensive analysis of our production network, HelloFresh has decided not to extend the lease,” a company spokesperson told KRON4. “Richmond is one of the oldest buildings in the US network and has one of the smallest footprints, an inefficient layout, and outdated refrigeration systems. Given the outdated state of the facility, HelloFresh will focus its efforts on its newer, more efficient sites and shift the production of EveryPlate to our other distribution centers.”
The facility, a 109,594 square-foot warehouse on Factory Street in Richmond that was built in 2001, is already listed as available for rent.
According to a report in MarketWatch, the closure will see the company, which has touted itself as the world’s largest meal-kit provider, lay off some 611 workers.
While the spokesperson contacted by KRON4 didn’t address the layoffs directly, they had this to say:
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“Our employees are at the heart of everything we do and their wellbeing is our top priority. The decision not to extend the lease is not a reflection of the local teams’ performance and we are grateful for their contributions. We have a robust plan in place to ensure everyone is supported through this transition.”
The move by HelloFresh is the latest in a series of layoffs across the tech and retail industries to impact Bay Area workers. In the past few months, companies like Gap, Oracle and DocuSign have all announced layoffs.
According to MarketWatch, HelloFresh sent a letter to the California Employment Development Department saying the Richmond plant will close on Dec. 11, exactly two weeks before Christmas.