WYNIT Abruptly Closes Doors to Greenville, SC Headquarters
With apparently little warning to employees, clients, or the public, WYNIT has shut down its headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina. The move comes less than two years after the consumer electronics distributor moved from Syracuse, New York, to its new headquarters at the ONE Building.
The closure will reportedly impact 140 jobs. A local news station viewer said that “WYNIT just closed down today with no warning to their employees,” and only offered to pay them until the first of the month with no other severance.
WYNIT is a wholesale consumer electronics distributor that deals in a number of categories including photo, wide-format printing, security, drones, and more, and ships product from companies like Fitbit, DJI, HP, Epson, Canon, and Microsoft. It serves retail giants including Best Buy, Target, Walmart, REI, and Kohl’s.
In a statement released through the distributor’s PR firm, the company said the decision was made based on current financial constraints.
"Due to a number of unexpected financial issues combined with a disappointing holiday selling season, WYNIT Distribution LLC announced a reorganization today that will close its Wholesale Distribution Division based locally," the release said.
A report on the website Greenville online dug through court documents from January that showed TSA Holdings—the holding company for the now-defunct Sports Authority chain—sued WYNIT in federal bankruptcy court for over $1 million in credits that TSA said it was due from a vendor agreement between the two parties. That case is still bending, but no other cases appear to be pending, according to the report. Given the amount of business it seemed like WYNIT was doing, it’s hard to believe a single suit would cause an entire headquarters to shut down.
According to the release, the company will maintain its software publishing and supply chain divisions in Minnesota. Other WYNIT distribution centers are located throughout the country in Nevada and Tennessee—no word yet on what’s happening with them.
“We are grateful for the welcome Greenville and South Carolina gave to us,” WYNIT CEO Pete Richichi said in the statement. “This is not what we wanted or expected. Unfortunately, we were unable to adjust fast enough to unforeseen changes. This was purely a financial decision. Our hope is we emerge a better company.”
At the time of the move from Syracuse to Greenville, Richichi said that relocating the company’s headquarters was a tough decision but one made because he believed WYNIT could establish a strong foundation to help the company grow. “The company is committed to assisting our people making whatever career decision they make. For a variety of compelling reasons this is the best decision for the company and its employees in the long term. Greenville is a place where we can grow,” he said at the time.
And in those two years, WYNIT emerged as one of the top places to work in the state.
Now, the company appears on the brink of total collapse.
Here’s the release in full:
Due to a number of unexpected financial issues combined with a disappointing holiday selling season, WYNIT Distribution LLC announced a reorganization today that will close its Wholesale Distribution Division based locally.
The company will maintain its Software Publishing Division and Supply Chain Service Division, which are located in Minnesota, said Pete Richichi, the company’s chief operating officer. The closing of the Greenville division affects 140 people. A transition team will stay in Greenville through the end of the year to help facilitate the reorganization.
WYNIT moved the division to downtown Greenville roughly two years ago from Syracuse, New York. While there were a lot of incentives talked about as part of the company’s move, Richichi stressed the company never took any money from South Carolina taxpayers.
“We are grateful for the welcome Greenville and South Carolina gave to us,” Richichi said. “This is not what we wanted or expected. Unfortunately, we were unable to adjust fast enough to unforeseen changes. This was purely a financial decision. Our hope is we emerge a better company.”
Retailers haven’t hinted at how this closure will impact their business. Dealerscope will continue to follow this breaking news story and provide any updates as they become available.