Wal-Mart return center in south Bibb County slated for closure; 400 jobs to be affected

The Wal-Mart return center in south Bibb County will be closing by mid-September, affecting the jobs of 400 workers.

The return operation here will be transferred to a third party and relocated near Spartanburg, S.C., said Wal-Mart media spokesman Dan Fogleman.

“The return center there will cease operations on Sept. 13 of this year,” Fogleman said. Employees are being notified today, he said.

But the closure is not related to the current economy, and all other options were considered before the decision to close the center was made, he said.

“The building can’t operate at the level of capacity that we need to service the Southeast region,” he said. “There were times we had to transport merchandise 1,500 miles away to another (return) center.”

The company is looking at holding a job fair for employees, and some Macon employees might find other work in Wal-Mart stores, he said.

“What’s important to note, we want to allow our associates as much time as possible to apply for other jobs,” Fogleman said.

The center, which opened in 1994, is located at 3220 Avondale Mill Road, near the Macon Municipal Airport. It is one of six such centers in the country, according to the company’s Web site.

For more information on this story, come back to www.macon.com and read Friday’s Telegraph.