Thomasville furniture plants to close
Davidson County, which has been devastated by home furnishings plant closings in the past 15 years, will lose more furniture industry jobs in two months.
Heritage Home Group, which recently took over the operations of bankrupt Furniture Brands International, said it will close operations in Thomasville in March. The shutdown will eliminate 84 jobs.
According to a letter provided to employees Tuesday, the closing will affect employees at Thomasville Plant C and Thomasville Plant C-Area 100.
The facilities will close March 21 because of adverse business conditions, according to the letter. The operations are at 405 E. Main St. and 505 County Line Road.
The company had to provide the notice to employees under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires a 60-day notice for plant closings and mass layoffs. A corporate representative at the headquarters in St. Louis couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday by The High Point Enterprise.
“Unfortunately, this permanent closure will mean the end of all operations and all employees at these locations will be discharged,” the letter said.
Last month, KPS Capital Partners announced the formation of a new company, Heritage Home Group, which acquired Furniture Brand International’s assets for $280 million. Furniture Brands’ holdings included Thomasville Furniture, Drexel Heritage, Broyhill, Lane, Henredon, Pearson, Hickory Chair, Lane Venture, Maitland-Smith and La Barge brands.
Davidson County has endured the brunt of furniture job losses in the past 15 years, mainly as furniture companies shifted production offshore to take advantage or cheaper labor and less stringent regulations in countries such as the People’s Republic of China. The state has lost tens of thousands of furniture jobs through offshoring and plant closings, and Davidson County has been among the North Carolina counties with the most layoffs.
Between 1990 and 2012, average furniture manufacturing employment in Davidson County plummeted 85 percent from 8,806 workers to 1,342 workers, according to the figures through the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division. Statewide, the furniture manufacturing work force dropped 63 percent from 89,017 employees in 1990 to 33,074 two years ago.
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