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US office furniture company, Patrician, to close

Thursday 24 October 2013

Patrician, the high specification office and contract furniture manufacturer based in High Point North Carolina and has been in business since 1964, will close at the end of the year after its current owner, Safco Products worked "hard to make it go," but couldn't keep the brand afloat since purchasing it five years ago.
The company has stopped accepting new orders and will spend the rest of the year fulfilling those already in the system, according to the company, which is based in High Point. The plant will shut down in December, which will result in a phased layoff of the 36 people currently employed at Patrician. All affected employees will be eligible for a severance package, which will include outplacement services, according to the company.
Nat Porter, general manager of Patrician and Safco Products, said it was an extremely difficult decision. He said the company had a good name and Safco tried to leverage that during the five years it owned the company.
"After working hard to make it go, we explored many different avenues, including the sale of the company and the brand," he said. "After this exploration we concluded that the most viable option was to permanently close the company and cease production under the Patrician brand. Our main goal now is to satisfy the commitments we made to our customers and to help employees with their transition. As you probably know, what seems like a simple, rational path from the outside is usually a bit more complex in reality."
Patrician first opened for business in 1964 and was acquired by Safco in 2008. Patrician was founded by the Stout family, where three generations expanded its product lines while making the Patrician name synonymous with elegance and quality. The company has long been a designer and manufacturer of complete lines for the corporate, hospitality, healthcare and government markets.
After it was sold to Safco in 2008, it was allowed to operate as its own brand under the Safco umbrella. It was Safco's first initiative into high-end furnishings and the healthcare market. At the time, Safco made a point of recognizing the value of the company's independent attributes. Safco was drawn to Patrician for its innovative furniture designs, expert craftsmanship and superior service.
Patrician had a strong tradition of producing high-end contract furniture. Patrician's products received Best of NeoCon in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2007 in the healthcare category.
Safco is a privately held company, a division of Liberty Diversified Industries based in Minneapolis. It was founded more than 40 years ago. The company says much of its rapid growth can be attributed to its "sensitivity to the marketplace and focus on product improvement."

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