Exel Logistics, which runs an Auburn distribution center for Starbucks, plans to lay off 136 workers in January, but they may get picked up by the firm getting the contract.

By Seattle Times business staff

Exel Logistics plans to permanently lay off 136 workers at a regional distribution center for Starbucks effective Jan. 28, according to a notice received by the state Employment Security Department.

Exel, a contract logistics company, supplies the chain’s retail stores with coffee, syrups and other non-perishable items from the Auburn facility, which is leased by Starbucks.

Starbucks is changing contractors in January from Exel to a company called OHL, based in Tennessee. OHL will operate out of the same facility.

OHL “is interested in retaining current Exel employees” to ensure that there’s no gap in operations, said Starbucks spokeswoman Stacey Krum.