BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) — 185 workers at Standard Furniture in Bay Minette have gotten the news no employee wants to hear. “It’s kind of mind-blowing man,” come March 31st, they will no longer have a job. “Yeah, I’m affected. All of us in there affected.” Ronald Williams has been employed at Standard for 26 years. “It hits you hard. It hits you but there is not really too much you can do.”
The Bay Minette plant will stop manufacturing furniture but, company officials say it will relocate it’s home accessories and warehousing operations from Frisco City to Bay Minette.
In a statement released Wednesday Standard Furniture’s CEO, Todd Evans said in part: “This product line never recovered from the recession. During this time, the price of bedroom products deflated significantly including massive reductions in ocean freight, which put our products in direct competition with a broad assortment of import wooden bedrooms that carry a higher perceived value.”
“It’s not really a function of those employees or that plant, it’s more a result of their overall business model and plan.” Bay Minette Mayor Bob Wills says the loss of that many jobs will have a ripple effect throughout the town. “Those are folks who spend money here, buy groceries, go to the restaurants, buy gasoline etc. We’ll feel some of that so obviously we hate to hear it.”
Tony Shavers is still trying to get used to the news. “I can do anything else. I can go somewhere else. This is not a problem, it’s not a threat. But hopefully, the Lord will bless me with something else.”
Right now though, that’s hard to think about, after 16 years of working at the same place.