Lincolnton Furniture Shuts Down

By Karen Koenig | Posted: 01/04/2013 12:16PM

 

Bruce Cochrane, Lincolnton Furniture, meets with President Barack ObamaOlivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCTLincolnton Furniture President and CEO Bruce Cochrane met with President Barack Obama in 2012. LINCOLNTON, NC — Lincolnton Furniture closed on Thursday, a year after being lauded by President Barack Obama as an example of America's manufacturing resurgence.

Lincolnton CFO Ben Causey said insufficient orders led to an indefinite manufacturing stoppage at the North Carolina furniture plant. Causey told The Charlotte Observer that only a few employees would remain at the company while it evaluates its options.

In a separate interview with WBTV, Lincolnton Furniture President and CEO Bruce Cochrane also cited price competition with Chinese furniture plus unanticipated costs to retrofit the plant for contributing to the shutdown. Lincolnton Furniture was located in the former Cochrane Furniture factory, which closed in 2008.

Bruce Cochrane opened the solid wood bedroom and dining room furniture company in December 2011 with 60 employees. An estimated 130 people were expected to be hired by the end of 2012.

Lincolnton Furniture received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Workforce Development, Outstanding Employer category in November. The company was cited by Governor Bev Perdue for its part in the growing trend of reshoring jobs back to America.

View the video from WBTV.com

WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

 

About the Author

Karen M. Koenig

Karen M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Wood Products (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory (RedBookOnline.com). She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at kkoenig@woodworkingnetwork.com or Google+.

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Keith morgan    
Iowa  |  January, 04, 2013 at 02:13 PM

Is it really about Obama or is it simply about the fact that too many Americans want things cheaper and cheaper but then complain when they loose their jobs to overseas production. Stop spending paychecks at Wal Mart to get everything cheaper and at the same time outsourcing your own job. It's not the presidents fault for creating initiatives if the public wont ultimately support them. Our company produces high quality furnishings and most of our client base is in Europe. Here we get asked. Can it be cheaper, in Europe we get asked how it is built and how long it will last... Cheap now will never be cheap in the long run and above all, cheap will never be something to aspire to.

Karin Deutschler    
Atlanta GA  |  January, 04, 2013 at 02:54 PM

Don't think the President is to blame that another American manufacturing company bites the dust. When Wal-Mart has moved in to most communities and people shop there by the droves, need we be surprised that American manufacturers cannot compete with that buying power? North Carolina, in particular has lost so much of its manufacturing base over the last few decades. Outdated machinery that doesn't allow cost-effective production, and a "good ole' boy" attitude, often mired in status quo, is much to blame. We should all be more conscious of what business model we support and where the products we buy are made. Otherwise, we needn't be surprised when the only jobs left are flipping burgers or Walmart greeters.

Steve    
Canada  |  January, 04, 2013 at 03:04 PM

Amen !!!

Bill    
Oregon  |  January, 04, 2013 at 03:26 PM

What is new, King Obama is a liar and a thug.

Reg    
Canada  |  January, 04, 2013 at 03:29 PM

"In a separate interview with WBTV, Lincolnton Furniture President and CEO Bruce Cochrane also cited price competition with Chinese furniture plus unanticipated costs to retrofit the plant for contributing to the shutdown. Cochrane opened the solid wood bedroom and dining room furniture company in December 2011 with 60 employees. An estimated 130 people were expected to be hired by the end of 2012" My question is why is he retrofitting the company he started in 2011? Something is not right here.

Karen Koenig    
January, 04, 2013 at 03:59 PM

Lincolnton Furniture was located in the former Cochrane Furniture facility, which closed in 2008. In the video he cites some of the unplanned expenses that occurred.

Paul    
Charlotte, NC  |  January, 04, 2013 at 04:15 PM

I agree the financial books need a serious inspection. How many tax dollars helped fund the opening of this operation? Blaming Wal-Mart is ludicrous; you can go into any department store and buy a pair of shoes, belt or funiture made in China. You'll pay full retail and know the importer pocketed an enormous profit. Read the label, if it's chinese put it back, if you can't find another alternative, do without!

    
January, 04, 2013 at 04:39 PM

Look at the books folks, look at the books.

Keith morgan    
Iowa  |  January, 04, 2013 at 07:32 PM

I was using Wal Mart Merely as an example simply because they tend to have the biggest presence in the most rural areas. We do spend a lot of time innthe UK in particular, installing our kitchen line. About ten years ago the British government passed legislation to ban any further construction of malls and outdoor big box shopping complexes. This happened after many complaints from the small tradespeople who were being put out of business thru big retail. Ultimately big retail will never make me feel the way I do when I have the option of supporting a small tradesperson who is really working hard to earn a fair living. The most expensive marketing strategies cannot but that kind of loyalty. On a final note, not all of our clients are wealthy and can easily afford our product, some save and wait until they can, a concept in short supply on this side of the pond. However Wal Mart did put thru planning to open it's first store in the UK last year and it was rejected by the government, I do hope that some of our local communities can start seeing the big picture and reject similar "conveniences".

Howward    
January, 04, 2013 at 09:46 PM

impressive of Keith and Reg 's comments. for the solid wood bedroom and dining room furniture, aren't they imported from Vietnam and Malay mostly, why blaming Chinese?

Pinetree Furniture Makers    
IL  |  January, 05, 2013 at 08:54 AM

What we really have to look at is the points of why this company closed. This is happening more and more today with furniture and woodworking companies. The top point is that people have to buy American made and yes it will cost more. The other points are the head of the company said that the major reason they are closing is that improvements cost more than they thought it would and China's competition. So this looks like someone did not do their homework on what it would cost for updating their building and factory and also who is your competition. For the politic side of it no president really can screw a company this small no matter what side you are on. I think we feel better if we have someone to blame just like a sports team manager always get fired but not the players. This company could have done a lot to save their company such as selling online direct, open showrooms and pushing American made. Oh and Rogupe-ss does that mean Bush had to go on what Clinton made law when he was in office? Get over Bush already its been four years and look at the real issue.

David R Gildea    
Canada  |  January, 05, 2013 at 03:27 PM

With that kind of thinking, my guess is your a republican, how can you call Obama a liar and a thug when prior to him you had both Bush's !!!!!!

Eric    
Illinois  |  January, 06, 2013 at 02:51 PM

You can blame who you think is at fault! But remember that if the customers that are buying the furniture are only buying based on price and not on quality and where it's made. That would put Lincolnton furniiture and others out of business no matter who is in the white house. Customers need to buy in the first place and buy American only to keep American's employed. So next time your at the store and buy a product from China or somewhere else other than America it could come back to effect your job one day.

Bill    
USA  |  January, 15, 2013 at 05:59 PM

There are three main things that fine furniture mfg have serious problems. One it is difficult to complete against a product where the competitive country subsidizes freight cost. #2, you have the particle board industries making furniture that is real pretty good and at competitive prices. #3, In your effort to control prices you have cheapen the ability to get top notch sale people to go out and really sell your product. There are many ways to increase the use of your facility. There are many companies available that can use your facilities. Most manufacturers are only using 60 or 70% of their capacity. Find some one to use that other 40 or 30% even if your margin of profit is almost nothing. You will make it up by covering your overhead. And if you get lucky in your regurlar line, you can now start a second shift, sell for almost no profit and again make an excellent profit off your overhead. 25 years ago I use to buy unused time in manufacturing plants and develop a product. For 5 years I was the largest producer of wood clock parts in the world and kept the chinese and every other country out. I had over 11 wood plants, all in different wood products thru out the US producing. This country has some ot the greatest people who have the ability to make a excellent product, but just don't have the ability to go out and sell.

 

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