Furniture maker closing Kentwood plant


Knoll is closing a Kentwood plant. Courtesy

An out-of-state furniture maker is closing its local manufacturing operation.

East Greenville, Pennsylvania-based Knoll said last week it will consolidate and “optimize” its manufacturing footprint in North America, resulting in the closure of the company’s Kentwood manufacturing facility, at 300 36th St. SE.

About 180 hourly and 30 salaried positions will be impacted.

Under the restructuring plan, the Kentwood manufacturing operations are expected to be “substantially closed” by the end of the second quarter of 2020 with the remaining restructuring expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

“We are deeply grateful to our entire Grand Rapids team and the broader Kent County community,” said Chris Baldwin, president and COO of Knoll Office. “We are enormously proud of our Grand Rapids associates’ dedication but must remain particularly vigilant about our long-term competitive position. After a comprehensive analysis of our North American operations, we determined substantial benefits could be realized as a result of this restructuring.”

The company said it will continue manufacturing and distributing all product lines currently made in Kentwood, but the manufacturing of those products will transition to other Knoll manufacturing sites in North America.

Knoll said existing manufacturing operations in East Greenville, Pennsylvania; Muskegon; and Toronto, Ontario are not impacted by the restructuring plan.

Impacted employees will receive severance packages, and some will be offered the opportunity to relocate to other Knoll facilities. Knoll also will provide some outplacement services to connect affected employees and area employers.

The facilities consolidation is expected to result in annual cost savings to Knoll of about $10 million to $11 million.

It also will entail an accumulation of restructuring charges over a multiyear period of about $18.2 million.

Founded in 1938, Knoll (NYSE: KNL) is “a constellation of design-driven brands” of furniture and other products for the workplace and home.

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