Red Lion furniture plant to close in June, sending dozens of jobs to Baltimore
The impending closure of a manufacturing plant in Red Lion means dozens of jobs will leave the community and move to Baltimore in June, according to recent filings with the state Department of Labor and Industry.
David Edward Furniture Inc. is a Baltimore-based company producing chairs and other furniture for institutional settings in the health care, education, government and hospitality sectors.
"I’m sorry to see them leave," said Red Lion Mayor Walt Hughes. "I wish them the best of luck, and I hope the employees find something."
About two-thirds of the 80 employees in Red Lion will have the option to relocate to Baltimore. The remaining workers will be out of a job.
Hughes said the borough will lose out on the 80 employees' per capita emergency service fees, which the borough withholds from the paychecks of all employees who work within borough limits.
The annual per capita fee is $52, which comes out to $4,160 in annual emergency services revenue from David Edward alone.
The borough is looking into hosting a job fair for the employees who will soon be without jobs, Hughes said.
After being family-owned for more than 50 years, David Edward was acquired in 2018 by Kimball, a larger furniture company based in Jasper, Indiana, according to a Kimball news release.
Kimball told its shareholders about the plan to consolidate the Red Lion plant with the Baltimore plant in a quarterly earnings conference call Feb. 5.
"Our focus is investing in new equipment in a redesign layout in Baltimore that will allow us to substantially increase capacity and reduce lead times," said Kimball CEO Kristine L. Juster during the call.
As of NASDAQ's opening on Friday, Kimball's market shares were trading at $17.76, and the 52-week high was at $22.40.
At the time of Kimball's acquisition of David Edward, David Edward reportedly employed about 200 people.
Kimball officials could not be reached for comment.