NEW TAZEWELL, Tenn. – England Furniture will invest $31 million to expand its New Tazewell, Tennessee, residential furniture operation, creating 202 jobs.
Plans call for England Furniture to add 87,000 square feet to its 400,000-square-foot main assembly plant and also construct a 22,500-square-foot corporate office to replace one destroyed in a May 2017 fire. Construction of both projects is scheduled begin immediately, with the additional capacity at the plant expected to be ready for operation by January 2019, and the LEED-certified office building to be completed in the spring of 2019.
England is an independent division of La-Z-Boy Inc., acquired in 1995. In a separate statement also released on Feb. 16, La-Z-Boy Inc. (NYSE:LZB) also announced plans to invest approximately $10 million in the projects as part of its ongoing strategic plan for strengthening its domestic manufacturing platform.
“England has been an excellent performer over the years with consistent increases in sales and profitability. Increasing capacity at the New Tazewell facility will allow us to answer existing demand challenges and continue to expand the England business," said Kurt L. Darrow, chairman, president and CEO of La-Z-Boy Inc.. "We would like to thank the State of Tennessee and the City of New Tazewell for their cooperation, support and encouragement on these projects. We look forward to the plant expansion and hiring additional workers as England continues to flourish."
England's 1.1 million square-foot New Tazewell manufacturing campus employs approximately 1,400 people and produces a full line of upholstered stationary and motion furniture, including custom furniture. In addition to the assembly plant, the complex also includes a state-of-the-art cut 150,000-square-foot cut and sew facility and 175,000-square-foot frame processing facility, according to the company's website. (Watch the YouTube video below for a factory tour.)
“This is an exciting time for England as we continue to canvas the United States and add to our dealer network," said President Terry England. "Expanding our production capacity will allow us to improve the efficiency of our existing operations while increasing output to satisfy the additional demand we are already experiencing. We will be methodical throughout the construction process to ensure there is no disruption of service to our customer base and they continue to receive their orders in 21 days or less.”
The Tennessee Valley Authority, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Claiborne Economic Partnership, Claiborne County, also are assisting with the project. England has been operating in New Tazewell since 1964.
“I congratulate England on its decision to expand its operations in New Tazewell and for creating more than 200 new jobs in Claiborne County,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. “England has had operations in our state for more than 50 years and it means a great deal that this well-established company is continuing to create high-quality jobs here. Because of companies like England, Tennessee will lead in job growth and economic development,” he added in the Feb. 16 statement.
“I want to thank England for its continued investment in New Tazewell,” said Bob Rolfe, Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner. “Manufacturing continues to be a strong sector in our state, employing more than 300,000 Tennesseans. I appreciate England for creating more than 200 manufacturing jobs in Claiborne County and strengthening our state’s manufacturing industry.”
Watch a factory tour of England's furniture operations (YouTube video).
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.