Rocky Brands has been classified as an essential business and will continue operations and shipments from its distribution center in Logan during the “Stay at Home” order issued for all nonessential businesses through April 6.
The Logan distribution center has been deemed an essential infrastructure business operation. The distribution center currently has approximately 1.3 million pairs of footwear in inventory and stands ready to ship the company’s work, duty and outdoor footwear to customers throughout the country.
The company’s CEO, Jason Brooks, said in a press release that the company agrees with how Ohio has been approaching permitting distribution centers to continue operations. He said the company’s shoes and boots are utilized by the country’s critical infrastructure businesses which need to be maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This includes the military, police and fire and other first responders, farmers and ranchers, food and drug manufacturers, hospital workers, electric, gas and water utility companies, oil and gas producers, transportation and logistics businesses, and public works,” Brooks added. “The Ohio order recognizes we need workers in these types of businesses to remain on the job to enable us to fight the virus and protect our citizens at the same time.”
Rocky Brands’ manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are under government orders to not operate for the next two weeks. These plants produce approximately half of the company’s products, with the remainder being produced by contract manufacturers in other countries — primarily China — where manufacturing resumed at the end of February.
As a result of the current unprecedented period of uncertainty, including the unknown duration and overall impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, Rocky Brands has acted to preserve financial liquidity and flexibility in order to successfully manage its operations during the crisis.
Rocky Brands maintains a “secured asset-based revolving credit facility up to a principal amount of $75 million and an additional $25 million option,” the company’s press release stated.
The company’s press release said it will be drawing down $20 million from its credit facility as a precautionary measure to strengthen its cash position. After the draw down, Rocky Brands expects to have approximately $40 million in cash and cash equivalents. Before this, the company says it had no debt.
“We understand and appreciate Gov. DeWine’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve and urge our fellow Ohioans to follow the order and take precautions for themselves and others around them,” said Brooks. “However, we agree with Ohio’s approach to permit distribution centers to continue to operate. This is especially important at this time for our distribution center to operate as our footwear products are utilized by our country’s critical infrastructure businesses which need to be maintained during this crisis.”
Rocky Brands began having its corporate staff work remotely last week, but will continue operating the distribution center “while also taking steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its employees there.”
Rocky Brands said that to help with that goal, it has implemented several policies in accordance with CDC and Ohio Department of Health guidelines. This includes limiting contact among staff members, conducting daily health screenings, ongoing cleaning and sanitization of the entire facility and dividing employees into work teams who will work one week on and one week off.
“The health of our employees is paramount and we will do everything possible to protect them,” said Brooks. “In these difficult times, we are proud to be able to continue to support our retail partners as they service the consumers who need our products to do their jobs.”