Flexsteel closing 120-year-old Dubuque plant in December 2017
No decision on location of replacement factory
George C. Ford
Flexsteel Industries plans to close a 120-year-old plant in Dubuque in December 2017 and has not decided where it will construct a replacement factory.
The Dubuque-based furniture manufacturer cited the age of the facility at 3400 Jackson St., which dates back to 1897, saying the plant has become inefficient for manufacturing and costly to maintain. The company employs 250 associates at the factory, with 185 represented by the United Steelworkers Local 1861, Teamsters Local 120 and Operating Engineers Local 234.
Flexsteel has begun discussions with the unions regarding closing the manufacturing facility and the prospect of entering into new agreements that would apply to a new facility should Dubuque be selected as the site of the project.
“We have identified several viable locations for manufacturing,” Karel Czanderna, Flexsteel president and CEO, said in a news release. “With our corporate history and long-term commitment to the Dubuque community, the company desires to remain in the Dubuque area.
“However, before finalizing a decision regarding location, we must ensure we can operate in a new facility while remaining competitive in the market.”
Czanderna said Flexsteel will continue to work with government and community agencies in potential locations to determine the final location of its manufacturing operation. No timetable was announced for making the decision.
Flexsteel recently announced plans to invest up to $25 million in its North American manufacturing infrastructure during the next two fiscal years to address aging facilities and improve efficiency.
Flexsteel is a designer, manufacturer, importer and marketer of upholstered and wood furniture for the residential, recreational vehicle, office, hospitality and health care markets. The company posted net income of $24.2 million, or $3.12 per share, on record net sales of $500 million in fiscal 2016.