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Nichols & Stone closing last USA plant?

Posted by oneplustwo (My Page) on
Fri, May 30, 08 at 18:02

I was visiting some of the furniture outlet stores in Gardner, MA last weekend, and one of the salespeople told me that Nichols & Stone is closing its Gardner plant in two or three weeks. Another salesperson in a different store had already told me that all Nichols & Stone was made abroad.

It it's true, what a shame. I think they were the last local manufacturer left in the Gardner area.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Nichols & Stone closing last USA plant?

It is a shame. I would guess that the only companies which will keep manufacturing in the US will be small family-owned high end lines like Henkel Harris, Karges, Waterford, etc.

RE: Nichols & Stone closing last USA plant?

Saw this in the news:
GARDNER, Mass. Nichols & Stone, one of the oldest remaining wood furniture producers in the United States, said earlier this year it planned to convert its factory here to an assembly, finishing and packaging operation.

But the success of that plan could depend on whether the company receives help from state agencies. Company President Carlton E. "Tuck" Nichols told two local newspapers, the Worcester Business Journal and The Gardner News, that he has been appealing to the state for financial assistance in making the transition.

Furniture/Todays efforts to contact Nichols were unsuccessful. But he told the Gardner News on May 29 that unless the company can obtain government assistance, it could be forced to close.

Nichols also told the paper that he has been working with lenders over the past several weeks to finance the transition. "Financing this conversion is definitely going to be a challenge for us because of the state and national economy," he said.

Nichols told both local papers that his company was having a difficult time as a domestic manufacturer competing against low-cost imports.

John Rice, Nichols & Stones vice president of sales and marketing, told Furniture/Today this week that the company was down to about 100 workers. It was reported to have about 200 employees as recently as February.

Rice said the company told dealers at the April High Point Market that it planned to shift from a manufacturing operation to an assembly and finishing operation. Until now, the Massachusetts plant has produced dining room tables, chairs and dining case pieces. The company also sources bedroom from Honduras.

The company now plans to import the dining parts from China, Central America and Italy and have them assembled and finished in Gardner, Rice said. He could not provide a timetable for the transition.

"If we can get a little decent business and can pull this thing off, we will be around for a long time," Rice said.

RE: Nichols & Stone closing last USA plant?

I heard from two furniture stores in Chicago today that Nichols & Stone just announced that they were going out of business.

RE: Nichols & Stone closing last USA plant?

I am one of the lucky ones then. I bought my N&S dining set new and now need to sell it since it doesn't fit my remodeled dining area (Esprit Pedestal 60" with Leaf and 4 Lafayette Lattice Armchairs in the Harvest distressed matte finish. Anyone have a good idea of how to price it? It's in really nice condition, just a few nicks here and there.


RE: Nichols & Stone closing last USA plant?

"In 2008, the Audi family, owners of L. & J.G. Stickley of Manlius, New York, purchased the intellectual property, designs and other assets of Nichols & Stone. Being sensitive to the history and importance of the Nichols & Stone name, the family invited Tuck Nichols to work with them through the transition period to assist with the continuation of the company's proud legacy. Several other Nichols & Stone craftsmen also joined Stickley at this time. The Nichols & Stone product line is offered as a separate division, maintaining its historic logo and the quality and design that has made it so popular."

Here is a link that might be useful: Nichols and Stone Story

RE: Nichols & Stone closing last USA plant?

Nichols and Stone does make a very good product. Glad to hear they are doing well. Are they still located in Gardner MA. This used to be one of the furniture capitals of New England but from what i understand there are very few compaanies left in this area manufacturing furniture.

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