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Justin Boots Kicking Distribution, Laying Off 68 Workers

Justin Brands Inc.

The Western footwear icon Justin Brands is closing an entire distribution facility in Fort Worth. Sixty-eight workers will be laid off, starting in May.

Current employees will have a chance to apply for a job at the new Justin distribution center about an hour away in Lancaster, which will be run by the third party logistics provider GENCO

Lisa Albert, senior communications manager for Justin Brands, says the company needs to focus on making boots, not delivering them.

“Justin Brands is getting out of the distribution business," she says, "because it’s not our core competency and in our research we’ve determined that turning it over to a third party logistics company is the best solution.”

Justin Boots goes back more than 130 years, when founder H.J. Justin started repairing boots in Gainesville Texas. Although the company name and ownership has changed over the past century, the boots are still recognizable by the decorative stitching across often across the top and ankles.

Today, the company is part of Berkshire Hatahaway. 

Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.