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Madison closing will have little impact on Colony in Monroe
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MADISON - Colony Brands' closing of its Madison fulfillment center in July 2018 will have little to no effect on the company's Monroe operations, said Tim Wolff, vice president of human relations.

"The employees can relocate to our Sun Prairie location and the (brands) that are fulfilled out of Madison will be handled at the Peosta (Iowa) center," Wolff said.

About half of the 16 full-time employees in Madison will be offered jobs at the Monroe, Peosta or Sun Prairie centers, "depending on the situation," Wolff said.

All of the 87 seasonal employees will continue to work through the end of the 2017 holiday season and then be offered positions at the Sun Prairie distribution center.

"A few employees will be relocating to Monroe but overall the impact will be minimal," said Wolff.

The centers in Sun Prairie and Peosta handle the distribution of non-food items and are facilities better matched than Monroe for the non-food merchandise now distributed out of Madison, he said.

The Madison center has distributed Colony Brands products since 1987 but the lease expires in July 2018 and the company could not agree with the property owner on a new one, said Wolff. The Madison center is older than the Peosta and Sun Prairie centers, and, at 225,000 square feet, is the company's smallest. Sun Prairie has 427,000 square feet and Peosta is 544,000 square feet, Wolff said.

Under state law, firms that employ more than 50 workers are required to give notice 60 days in advance of a plant closing. While it's more than a year away from closing the Madison center, Wolff said, there is no need to delay in getting the word out.

"We need to start moving things and the more notice you can give employees about opportunities elsewhere, the better," he said.

Colony Brands is a privately held company by the founding Kubly family and manages mail order and online services for about 11 companies, according to Bloomberg Financial.

Distribution of the Monroe & Main and Midnight Velvet catalogue products are based in Madison.

The company's flagship firm, Swiss Colony, makes a variety of food products and distributes them primarily from Monroe, said Wolff.

A call to a spokesperson for the Department of Workforce Development for the closing information the company provided was not returned by deadline.