Buffett’s Cowboy-Boot Unit Cuts Texas Jobs, Shifts Work to FedEx

Justin Brands, the cowboy-boot company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is cutting jobs at a Texas distribution center as it shifts work to a unit of FedEx Corp.

Sixty-eight employees in Fort Worth will be let go in mid-May, according to a filing with state regulators. Chief Executive Officer Randy Watson said Monday that the company selected FedEx’s Genco unit to distribute its boots and accessories after demand surged.

“Over the last five years, our business is up probably over 70 percent,” he said in a phone interview. “We had essentially outgrown the facility.”

Watson said affected employees were invited to apply to work at Genco, which plans to distribute Justin’s products from a facility nearby.

Justin boots are a big seller at Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire’s annual meeting, which features a showroom full of products from the company’s dozens of subsidiaries including See’s Candies and Fruit of the Loom. This year, executives from the bootmaker will help kick off the May 2 gathering by riding two Texas longhorns down the street toward the convention center where it’s being held.

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