ANAMOSA — J & P Cycles, a homegrown Anamosa business that attracts tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts to its annual open house, is relocating its core operations out of state in moves that will idle 125 employees,
The largest retailer of aftermarket parts, accessories and apparel for Harley-Davidson and V-Twin Cruiser motorcycles will be moving its warehouse to Louisville, Ky. and administrative offices to Dallas, and consolidating call center operations in Ormond Beach, Fla. A retail center will continue operating in Eastern Iowa.
J & P Cycles employees were told of the plans Wednesday by the company’s corporate parent, MAG Retail of Irvine, Calif. Oregon-based Motorcycle Superstore joined with J & P Cycles in 2012 to form MAG Retail.
MAG Retail is owned by Motorsport Aftermarket Group of Oregon, which acquired J & P Cycles from the company’s founders, John and Jill Parham, more than a decade ago.
In a statement made public Thursday, Zach Parham, general manager of J & P Cycles, said the company will begin phasing out warehouse, call center and office operations in Anamosa within the next few months.
“Our retail center will stay open throughout this period and beyond,” Parham said.
“The shift in warehouse operations to Louisville is based on the results of an extensive study conducted by a third party logistics company, who we engaged at the beginning of the year. The study concluded that Louisville was the most optimal place to locate our warehouse. A warehouse there will allow the company to ship products to more of our customers faster than the Anamosa warehouse.
“In fact, we can cover 71 percent of our customers in one to two days from Louisville.”
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The statement did not say if the company received economic incentives from governments in the new locations.
While the physical location of the company’s retail showroom may change, Parham said J & P Cycles will continue to have a retail presence in Eastern Iowa. He said the showroom will be located in the existing Anamosa building until sometime next year.
Parham said every employee in Anamosa impacted by the decision will be given an opportunity to relocate.
Dusty Embree, executive director of Jones County Economic Development, said efforts were made to retain one of the largest private employers in Jones County.
“We’ve known for a short time and we’ve been aggressively working to try to keep them,” Embree said. “It is a hard thing for the community. We will work very diligently to find other opportunities within our region for the people who have worked there for a long time.
“It is a sad day, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we will overcome this.”
Embree said efforts will be made to market the J & P Cycles warehouse, administrative office and retail showroom to a potential employer. She noted that there will be some employees who will choose to relocate with J & P Cycles, but others will offer a quality workforce for a company planning to expand or start a new business in Anamosa.
J & P Cycles has hosted an annual open house for customers and suppliers for many years.
It moved this year’s event on June 27 and 28 to the Jones County fairgrounds due to the size of the gathering, which topped 35,000 in 2014.
Ryan Polk, president of MAG Retail, has indicated the annual open house will continue in Anamosa.
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John and Jill Parham founded J & P Cycles as J. Parham Enterprises in 1979 in a small motorcycle shop. The shop burned to the ground in 1984, which prompted the Parhams to develop a warehouse that became J & P Cycles’ headquarters off Highway 151 just outside of Anamosa.
Anamosa is home to the National Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, which John Parham brought to the community from Sturgis, S.D., in 1999.
The 36,000-square-foot facility at 102 Chamber Drive, which is operated separately and not connected with J & P Cycles, attracts about 5,000 enthusiasts each year.