CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. on Feb. 11 announced it has closed its Columbus, Ohio, baking facility, effective immediately. The move will affect 411 employees.

“We are in a highly competitive business environment that is driving our company to ensure all areas of our business are meeting their full potential,” Kroger said. “As a company, we must be able to adapt to the ever-changing retail environment and meet the needs of our customers.

 “After evaluation of the equipment and layout of the plant, it became clear that the outdated layout and age of the equipment were no longer sustainable for us to remain competitive. Production at the plant will cease immediately, and the process of decommissioning its operations is expected to take 60 to 90 days.”

Kroger said the company will honor the terms outlined in its collective bargaining agreements, and all employees at the Columbus bakery will be paid as normal for 60 days before receiving severance based on years of service. Employees will be encouraged to seek available positions at other Kroger facilities and business units.

“As a company, we continuously evaluate the efficiencies of our operations to ensure that every Kroger manufacturing facility is meeting its full potential,” Kroger said. “At this time, there are no plans to close other facilities in our network.”

In addition to Columbus, Kroger has seven other baking facilities located in La Habra, Calif.; Denver; Indianapolis; Bowling Green, Ky.; Clackamas, Ore.; Anderson, S.C.; and Layton, Utah.