Coleman plans to close camp in Jeffco by Feb.
The Coleman Co. plans to close its headquarters in unincorporated Jefferson County and eliminate 54 jobs, a setback to the state’s push to dominate as a hub for outdoor recreational equipment makers.
Coleman said it will shut down its office facility at 1767 Denver West Blvd. and complete the layoffs by the end of February, according to a notice filed with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
“The aforementioned layoff should be considered permanent,” Lori Becker, Coleman’s vice president of human resources, wrote in a letter to the state dated Dec. 20.
Coleman’s parent company, Newell Brands, said it will fold management of the Coleman product line into its beverageware businesses based in Chicago.
“Our approximately 80 Golden-based employees will have an opportunity to consider other roles within Newell Brands. Other Coleman operations remain unaffected, including our key hub in Wichita,” said Nicole Quinlan, a spokeswoman for the Hoboken, N.J., company.
Coleman built a custom $4.5 million lodge-style headquarters in 1996 near Golden, only to move its executive team back to Wichita the following year so they could keep a closer eye on manufacturing operations.
After a 15-year absence, the Coleman executive team took up residence again in that original headquarters, citing the better opportunities that Colorado provided versus Kansas to attract talent for product development and marketing.
Jefferson County offered Coleman $75,000 in cash and a property tax rebate of 25 cents on the dollar over a 10-year period to lure the company back. Colorado also agreed to rebate some of the payroll taxes associated with the jobs the company brought or added in the state. Coleman at the time said those jobs would pay an average wage of $108,000 a year.
Jefferson County has made the outdoor equipment industry a priority in its recruitment efforts and Colorado last year created an Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry.
Coleman, while not considered cutting edge, is an established brand with a wide range of popular outdoor gear, including cook stoves, insulated coolers and tents. The company was founded by William Coffman Coleman, whose poor eyesight motivated him to invent a cleaner burning gas lamp in the early 1900s.
A variety of owners have controlled Coleman in recent decades. Private equity owners took the company public in a stock offering in 1992, and Sunbeam acquired the company in 2000.
Sunbeam, after getting into financial difficulties, was purchased by Jarden in 2004 and earlier this year, Newell Brands acquired Jarden. Newell controls a host of well-known consumer brands, including Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Graco, Oster and Elmer’s.