Earlier this week, Standard Furniture announced it would stop manufacturing laminated case goods at its Bay Minette facility, in a move that could eliminate about 185 positions.
According to a letter sent to Standard’s Bay Minette employees, “The cessation of manufacturing operations will occur on March 31 … The drivers, warehouse and distribution center will not be affected and will continue to operate.”
As a part of this move, Standard will relocate some of its home accessories and warehouse operations from Frisco City to Bay Minette.
“This product line never recovered from the recession. During this time, the price of bedroom products deflated significantly including massive reductions in ocean freight, which put our products in direct competition with a broad assortment of import wooden bedrooms that carry a higher perceived value,” Standard CEO Todd Evans said in the statement.
Reaction from North Baldwin leaders was that of shock, as they didn’t expect the announcement coming from Standard.
“We’re obviously disappointed to see the ending of that manufacturing line, and are certainly sympathetic to the people whose positions are now possibly being cut,” North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce Director Ashley Jones Davis said. “We’re going to continue to help however we can, including helping employees reach out to the Alabama Career Center and other resources they might need during this transitional time.”
Bay Minette Mayor Bob Wills said the City of Bay Minette was saddened by the announcement.
“We’re disappointed to see the cut of this manufacturing line and we’re certainly mindful of the employees and sympathetic of their situations right now,” Wills said. “We’re hopeful the cuts will be limited to just this one line.”
Wills said the North Baldwin area was continuing to add jobs and hoped this announcement would just be a bump in the road.
“We’re optimistic that we’re going to have a major industrial announcement for our part of the county some time in the near future,” Wills said. “We certainly feel for the folks out there affected by this announcement and the city will do anything it can to try to assist and help those folks.”