Ekornes to add 100k square feet, hire 65+ new employees at Morganton, N.C., facility
Powell Slaughter//Senior Editor•Furniture Today
November 4, 2020
SOMERSET, N.J. – Contemporary luxury upholstery manufacturer Ekornes is adding 100,000 square feet and 65 new jobs at its Morganton, N.C., J.E. Ekornes USA facility to support increasing North American business and reduce lead times.
The Morganton operation produces all Stressless sofas sold in North America, including motorized sofas, Stressless dining chairs, and ottomans and accessories.
“North America makes up the largest market for Ekornes’ global business in terms of revenue and sales potential,” said Ekornes President Peter Bjerregaard. “Our Stressless business is thriving, and this expansion is a very positive display of the company’s dedication and support to our market, our retail partners and consumers here in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”
The expansion will occur in two phases. First and immediately, Ekornes leased a new external warehouse in order to make room for increased production capacity. The new warehouse will bring 15 or more new jobs to the Morganton facility and will increase daily capacity by 30% more seats by mid-January.
Phase two, which starts concurrently phase one, includes a 100,000-square-foot addition to the existing plant. Upon completion of construction, which is expected within 12 months, daily capacity will increase 70%-plus from current levels. Ekornes also will hire an additional 50 full-time employees for various positions.
Randy Tallent, vice president of J. E. Ekornes USA, said those jobs will go to local workers. “Not only is it good for the local economy, but it will distinguish us from our competitors who only make or source products abroad,” he said.
Bjerregaard added the expansion will reduce lead times to both dealer partners and consumers.
“We know consumers’ threshold for custom furniture wait time is no more than four weeks and really, it’s all about delivering the right furniture to the consumer when they want it,” he said, noting the expansion creates the opportunity to add even more product lines to Ekornes’ U.S. capacity.