DeFehr Furniture: Closure of the Winnipeg factory, more than 200 people laid off

A furniture manufacturer closes its Winnipeg production plant, putting more than 200 people out of work.

Andrew DeFehr told CTV News the decision was made weeks ago and employees were made aware of it on Wednesday.

“It was very difficult. My grandfather started the business. My uncles worked here for a while,” DeFehr said.

The factory manufactures master bedroom, home office, and entertainment furniture, that is, furniture that is built with interior storage capability. It has been in business for 75 years, formerly under the ownership of Palliser Furniture.

DeFehr said it was difficult to turn a profit before the pandemic and now supply chain delays have driven up costs and further hurt its bottom line.

“My shipping costs have tripled for items I need to buy overseas. In some cases, shipping costs are now worth more than the item I’m buying,” he told CTV News.

The company said all open customer orders will still be fulfilled.

He said the company held job fairs for employees who were due to be laid off and worked with a number of large Winnipeg companies to recruit employees into new jobs.

The facility will cease operations on August 10.

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