Ekornes has stated that internal sofa components will continue to be manufactured in Norwegian factories. However the new United States plant will receive these components and will then do sewing and assembly in the Morganton, North Carolina facility. As of January 16, 2012 Ekornes has been training 11 employees full time and hopes to have that number up to 40 by the end of the year. Employee training is expected to take anywhere from 6 to 8 months. Company projections planned to see that number up to 58 jobs.
Hendrick Construction based out of Charlotte, NC was awarded the contract to build the facility in August of 2011 and completed it towards the end of last year. The company has a long successful portfolio of commercial construction throughout the American Southeast. Past projects have included corporate headquarters, industrial health care facilities, clinics as well as local schools and government buildings.
Burke Development Inc. was responsible for helping to bring the Ekornes manufacturing facility to North Carolina. BDI also partnered with such organizations as Red Rock Developments, City of Morganton, Burke County Commissioners and Western Piedmont Council of Governments to help make this possible. Special support and efforts to help locate the plant in Morganton also came from State representatives Mitch Gillespie, Hugh Blackwell and Senator Warren Daniel.
Retail stores such as LifeStyles Furniture in Davenport, Iowa an Ekornes dealer for over 15 years have welcomed the news of a Stressless sofa plant in the United States, said President Brian Banks. “The US warehouse has always had a strong selection of Stressless recliners however sofas, loveseats and chairs most often had to be ordered out of Norway with 12-14 week lead times. This often made consumers hesitant to commit to a waiting period of months for a custom piece of furniture. The expectation is that these lead times will be greatly reduced once the US plant is running at capacity.”
This is an enormous step for Ekornes and its presence in North America which up to this point has only been in the form of a warehousing facility located in Somerset, New Jersey. Committing to Stressless sofa manufacturing facilities in the United States of a product that has always been European designed and built, the company is looking towards future growth in this market as well as faster lead times for the North American consumer. Establishing a manufacturing facility in North Carolina helps to meet the needs of an expanding US market and will ensure quicker lead times for the popular line of Stressless sofas, loveseats and chairs.
About LifeStyles Furniture:
LifeStyles Furniture is a retailer located in Davenport, IA. The company has been offering modern contemporary designed furniture for over 20 years in the Quad Cities area. European and American brands make up the majority of the store’s furniture lineup with a commitment to quality high-end furniture products. Located at 4711 North Brady Street Davenport, IA 52806 and online at LifeStylesFurniture.com
About Ekornes ASA:
Ekornes ASA is a Norwegian manufacturer of upholstered furniture and mattresses. Known for their main brands such as Ekornes, Stressless and Svane the company sells to over 30 countries across 5 continents throughout the world. Ekornes currently operates plants in both Norway and the United States. Manufacturing website located at Ekornes.com