Eaton Corp to layoff 47 employees in Memphis

Eaton Corp. will lay off 47 employees in Memphis and close its 180,000-square-foot warehouse at 4500 Shelby Drive, a company executive said Monday.

The Cleveland, Ohio-based power management company will consolidate activities at the airport-area warehouse to a facility in Spartanburg, S.C., and other facilities across the country, said Mark Horner, senior manager of global communications for Eaton's electrical sector.

Eaton management came to Memphis on Jan. 18 to tell employees here that "operations here would cease and that the facility will close effective March 31," Horner said. Eaton is providing transition benefits and outplacement services to the affected employees.

A number of factors led to the closing of the facility, which ships residential electrical components like circuit breakers and transformers, but it came down to "operational logistics," Horner said.

"The idea is that we wanted to consolidate facilities and better utilize our existing resources and improve efficiencies and shipping inventory and cost structure and the whole gamut of things related to that," he said. "Basically, it comes down to logistics and the footprint in Spartanburg is where we're moving."

The facility was opened here in 1994, Horner said, and its closing will mark the end of Eaton's presence in Memphis, he said.

Eaton had a record year of sales and profits in 2011, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company reported 2011 sales of $16 billion and reported profits of $1.35 billion.

Source: Commercial Appeal