by Tara Bozick
Stanleytown laments the impending loss of Stanley Furniture Co. Inc., which plans to move its headquarters to High Point, N.C., by January.
That means the loss of 45 jobs in the Stanleytown corporate office and another hit to the tax base of Henry County, which continues to suffer high unemployment. Yet, not all impacts are quantifiable.
“The loss of a homegrown company that is identified with your community — it’s hard to put a number on that,” says Tim Hall, deputy administrator for Henry County.
Two distribution warehouses that employ about 70 people in Stanleytown and Henry will remain in operation, says Christy Landon, Stanley’s director of human resources.
The headquarters move comes as Stanley shifts to target a premium furniture niche and market its brand to upscale customers. North Carolina and local governments there used $751,000 in incentives over three years to entice Stanley to consolidate its offices in a $4 million investment in downtown High Point.
The High Point location hosts several companies in the premium market segment, and Stanley plans to open a new showroom there at the April furniture market, Landon says.
The High Point administrative offices and showroom will employ 42 people at a minimum estimated payroll of $2.5 million, according to a North Carolina news release. Some Stanleytown employees may transfer to the new headquarters.
Henry still is recovering from the loss of 530 manufacturing jobs after Stanley shut down its adult wood furniture production facility. The company still produces Young America-brand children’s furniture in North Carolina, but sources its adult line from Asia — primarily Indonesia, Landon says.
In addition to layoffs, Henry County saw a $264,000 decline in annual personal property tax revenue after Stanley manufacturing ceased, Hall says.
Without Stanley operations, Stanleytown is just a village, says Larry N. Turner of Bassett, who worked at Stanley for more than 40 years. About 1,400 residents lived in Stanleytown at the time of the 2010 Census.
Stanleytown arose near Bassett from company-owned employee housing around the Stanley furniture plant built in 1924, according to Bassett Historical Center records.
Turner, a former Stanley human resources manager, says he understands the company needs to change to stay afloat in a global economy, but that the headquarters move is a blow. “It’s disappointing to our community and those that worked there for a lot of years,” Turner says.
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