RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Two abrupt and unanticipated closures of furniture companies in North Carolina over the last three weeks have left at least 1,300 people without jobs.
The shutdown of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams — an upscale furniture maker with retail stores across the U.S. — has shaken the furniture industry and left about 530 workers without jobs in North Carolina.
Also, the closure of Klaussner Furniture left nearly 800 employees without jobs in Randolph County and Montgomery County, North Carolina officials said.
Mitchell Gold was founded in 1989 and grew to become a major furniture company. Workers for the company are now unemployed in Alexander and Iredell counties after the company collapsed in bankruptcy on August 25.
More than two weeks later, the news about Mitchel Gold + Bob Wiliams closing is still the top story on a key home furnishings website on Monday.
Mitchell Gold closed three facilities in towns across the state, including Statesville in Iredell County, and Hiddenite and Taylorsville both in Alexander County.
“We all have lived here. We all know people, and so it really shocked everybody,” worker at Rogers Mills Becky Smith told WJZY.
Klaussner Furniture, based in Asheboro, is also a major employer — and its bankruptcy earlier in August also surprised many.
Launched in 1963, the company has five North Carolina manufacturing campuses. According to Klaussner, more than 70 percent of its products were manufactured at those locations.
In addition to lost jobs, the Business of Home website reported that there were as many as 4,000 customers with Mitchell Gold orders still in process.
The North Carolina Attorney General Monday said his office would try to help workers left jobless in the wake of the closures. The Attorney General on Monday also asked the companies to work with various counties to help their former employees move forward.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for the communities affected by these closures, and I intend to do everything in my power to make sure these companies look out for their employees, their customers, and their communities,” Attorney General Josh Stein said in a news release.
The Business of Home website reported that the problems at both furniture companies came after huge sales increases during the COVID-19 pandemic — when many people were stuck at home.
But, as more people are now back to normal, business has fallen off — and supply chain problems contributed to financial woes.