HOLDEN, W. Va - Georgia-based flooring giant Mohawk Industries will permanently close its manufacturing plant in Holden, West Virginia on May 6 - laying off the plant's 111 employees.
The company cited a reduced solid wood flooring market and a desire to consolidate operations as reasons for the closing.
“Mohawk has a comprehensive product offering, and we align our operations with changing consumer preferences,” said Gary Lanser, president of Mohawk’s laminate and hardwood business. “As the style and performance of our engendered wood, laminate and luxury vinyl tile collections have improved, consumers are gravitating to those innovative products, which has reduced market share for solid wood flooring.”
Mohawk produces floor covering products for residential and commercial applications in North America and residential applications in Europe. The company manufacturing portfolio consists of soft flooring products (carpet and rugs), hard flooring products (ceramic tile, natural stone and hardwood flooring), laminate flooring, sheet vinyl and luxury vinyl tile. Mohawk employs over 34,000 in operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and the U.S.
Already focusing on solid wood production, Mohawk’s facility in Melbourne, Australia was recently expanded to manufacture engineered wood flooring. Lanser said that the Melbourne facility would satisfy Mohawk’s solid wood demand and anticipated no interruption of service to Mohawk’s customers.
“The men and women at the Holden plant have done consistently good work providing exceptional quality and value,” Lanser said. “The Holden plant is closing because the U.S. market for solid wood has changed. The decision has nothing to do with the plant’s performance.”
Mohawk says it will partner with the West Virginia Department of Labor to help employees retain opportunities, and engage in job fairs and unemployment benefits. The company has partnered with area community and technical colleges to expand employee skill sets.
Despite the plant closing, Mohawk's sales are up, with net earnings of $234 million in the fourth quarter. Hard surface sales, which includes laminate, wood and vinyl, as well as the hot category of luxury vinyl tile (LVT), are dramatically expanding.
The announcement was made via a Worker Adjustment & Retaining Notification (WARN), which requires employers with over 100 employees to provide a 60-day notice of plant closings or mass layoffs.