YOUNGSTOWN,Ohio (WKBN) — After 23 years, the Toys ‘R’ Us distribution center in Youngstown is closing its doors.
The company said the center on Geoffrey Trail, off Salt Springs Road, will stop operations Aug. 1. A total of 70 full-time and part-time employees will be impacted by the closure.
“We are working diligently to place as many employees as possible at other locations in the area,” said Linda Connors, manager of corporate communications, in a prepared statement.
Youngstown Mayor John McNally said those workers contribute $90,000 to $95,000 a year to the city in income taxes, which is down from the $160,000 collected in 2010. There were 256 employees at the distribution center in 2001.
McNally also said Toys ‘R’ Us got a 10-year tax abatement from 1991 to 2001 as an incentive to come to the city. It has been paying property taxes since 2001, but McNally said he was not sure how much.
In the statement, Connors said the company over the past few years has added the ability to ship online orders directly to and from stores.
“Based on the success of this model, we have created greater efficiencies in our supply chain, which have enabled us to streamline operations,” the statement said.
City leaders are confident the building and location will be attractive to another business.
“Some features inside the facility, it’s fairly computerized, a large number of docks, so obviously we think it’s a good home for a distribution facility of some type,” McNally said.
He said the city has not been contacted directly by Toys ‘R’ Us and they learned of the plans to close through the local media.