Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. has announced it will open a new factory in Galax, Virginia, in March and expand its existing Galax plant thanks to exceedingly strong sales. These projects are expected to support the creation of at least 115 jobs by March 2015.
Vaughan-Bassett is recognized as the largest wooden bedroom manufacturer in the U.S. Presently about 630 of its 675 employees work in the Commonwealth.
The VA-based firm is spending $1.5 million to buy the old Webb Furniture #1 bedroom plant, located adjacent to its main factory in Galax. (About 300 workers were laid off after those operations closed in January 2006.) After the facility is renovated and re-opened, its employees will machine, assemble and finish bedroom furniture. In total, Vaughan-Bassett will spend $2.25 million to bring the plant back online.
The company also will install new equipment-worth over $1.75 million dollars-at its primary Galax factory. In total, Vaughan-Bassett will invest $3.75 million to complete this site's major expansion.
In addition, the furniture manufacturer will add $2 million dollars worth of additional inventory to provide quicker delivery to its customers, said COO Doug Bassett.
After the former Webb factory's initial transformation phase is completed in July, the company will have expanded its production capacity by up to 50 percent-and hired at least 50 additional employees.
Moreover, when Vaughan-Bassett meets agreed-upon job-creation goals and capital expenditure requirements, it will receive about $56,250 in incentives from the City of Galax, $200,000 from the Virginia Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund, and $75,000 from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Vaughan-Bassett is now enjoying an unusually robust growth rate. Its fourth quarter 2011 sales grew by 19 percent, and during the first six weeks of its 2012 fiscal year "both orders and sales are up over 20 percent," said President and CEO Wyatt Bassett. In contrast, the national furniture industry is growing by just 2 to 3 percent.
Company executives credit increased sales to the "Made in the USA" trend embraced by the American consumer. Bassett said furniture dealers are reporting that their customers are asking for American-made products. "We are benefitting from the fact[s] that 98 percent of our furniture is made in the USA, and.we're the only large player offering domestically produced bedroom in the middle price points."
Chairman John Bassett added that Vaughan-Bassett is "winning the battle against our Asian competition because we have the finest workforce in the world, and we have the best-equipped factories in the world."