HNI closing Hickory factory as part of plant consolidation

Workers at an HNI plant. The company announced that it was closing its Hickory, N.C., plant as part of a considation plan.

Photo By HNI Corp. LinkedIn page

MUSCATINE, Iowa — HNI Corp. plans to close its Hickory, North Carolina, manufacturing plant during the first half of 2025 and consolidate production into its other North American facilities. A reported 200 workers will be affected by the closure.

HNI expects the consolidation to improve productivity and strengthen operations, without sacrificing capacity or creating disruption. Customers and trade partners will benefit from production efficiencies, coordinated delivery logistics, and rigorous quality assurance.

“Closing a facility is a difficult decision and is not a reflection on the hard work and effort of the Hickory operations team. We are grateful for their dedication and will work to assist them through this transition,said Jeff Lorenger, HNI’s chairman, president, and CEO.

The company did not release the number of workers who will be affected by the closure. 

According to HNI's financial statement, moving Hickory production to HNI’s manufacturing centers was partially enabled by the strategic integration of Kimball International Inc., which HNI acquired in June 2023. Total cost synergies associated with the integration of KII now total an estimated $50 million, reflecting the previously announced $35 million, $11 million associated with the Hickory consolidation, and approximately $4 million of new cost synergies related to ongoing procurement efforts. In addition to these cost synergies, 

Earlier this month, HNI announced that its first quarter results were boosted by its KII acquisition.  HNI, which is ranked #10 in the FDMC300 listing of top North American wood products manufacturers, reported net income of $17.7 million on first quarter sales of $588 million. The 22.7% year-over-year revenue increase was attributed to sales generated by Kimball. Kimball contributed $147.5 million to HNI’s Workplace Furnishings’ Q1 2024 revenue tally of $439.8 million.

“This is a strategic decision to optimize our operational footprint and improve business performance. We are announcing this several months in advance as part of our commitment to make the transition as smooth as possible. We will continue to grow our premium HBF business with our talented brand team in Hickory. This move will improve the customer experience for our trade partners and end-users, and more efficiently deliver on our commitments to safety, quality, lead-times, and reliability,” said Lorenger.

HNI will maintain a commercial presence in Hickory with its HBF brand of workplace furnishings and textile products. HBF’s brand headquarters will remain in Hickory as will its marketing, customer experience, product development, and product engineering members (aka employees).



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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).