MUSCATINE, IA - The HON Co. said it will close its manufacturing facility in Florence, AL, by the end of 2014, resulting in the layoff of 190 workers. The office furniture company made the announcement May 8.
The wind down will be done in phases, with the first to begin in three months. According to Gary Carlson, vice president of Marketing and Community relations, the workload will be consolidated into the company's other manufacturing facilities in the United States. The Florence plant produced a range of wood office furniture, including tables, desks and credenzas.
HON purchased the plant in 1997. Carlson said efforts to reduce excess capacity led to the company's operational yet "tough" decision.
This is the second contract furniture plant closure announced this week. On May 6, Steelcase said it will close its furniture plant in High Point, NC, resulting in the layoff of 230 workers.
Founded in 1944, The HON Co. is the largest operating company of HNI Corp. Headquartered in Muscatine, IA, HON manufactures a variety of office furniture including: workstations, desks, chairs, tables and storage systems.
The second largest office furniture manufacturer in the world, HNI's contract furniture brands include: HON, Allsteel, Gunlocke, Paoli, HBF, Maxon, Artcobell, BP Ergo and Lamex. First quarter sales for the group were $358.4 million, a drop of $7.5 million compared to the same period in 2013. The company attributed the loss to a decrease in the supplies-driven channel, which was partially offset by an increase in the contract channel. Fiscal year-end 2013 sales for HNI Corp. were $2.1 billion, a 3% increase from the prior year.
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