Manchester Wooden was based in 1976 and spent 42 years manufacturing strong wooden furnishings within the state of Vermont. At its peak, the corporate was producing $8-12 million per yr in income and employed near 200 individuals.
The founder, Clifford “Cliff” Pierce, constructed Manchester Wooden right into a multi-million greenback enterprise by promoting in bulk to retailers throughout the nation. He had over 300 wholesale shoppers together with LL Bean, Crate & Barrel, JC Penney, Sears, Pottery Barn, Macy’s, and extra.
The enterprise was recognized for constructing high-quality, strong wooden furnishings. The most well-liked merchandise had been mission fashion bookcases and couch tables, adirondack chairs, and folding desks and tray tables. It was a multi-generation household enterprise.
Timeline of the Rise & Fall of Manchester Wooden
After 42 years, Manchester Wooden is closing our doorways. Please buy our remaining heirloom high quality furnishings at 30% off whereas provides final at https://t.co/409Hh3I6EQ and take house a chunk of historical past. #MadeinUSA
— Manchester Wooden (@manchesterwood) August 2, 2018
The story of Manchester Wooden goes all the way in which again to the 1950’s. Its tragic fall lasted virtually 2 many years till the enterprise closed in 2018.
- 1957: After coming back from a a number of yr stint serving in Korea for the US military, Cliff Pierce returns to New York and founds Pierce Industries in Walden, NY. The corporate makes a speciality of manufacturing metallic merchandise.
- 1976: Clifford “Cliff” Pierce units up store in Manchester, Vermont. The corporate begins by making small wooden merchandise like chopping boards, TV tray holders, and finish tables.
- Early 1980’s: Manchester Wooden begins making strong wooden furnishings, notably Adirondack chairs. All through the 1980’s, the corporate’s designs and craftsmanship had been acknowledged by main nationwide retailers. Enterprise picks up rapidly.
- 1986: Seeing the speedy development of Manchester Wooden, Cliff decides to promote Pierce Industries and focus his time on this rising woodworking operation in Vermont.
- Late 1980’s: Supplying furnishings to family names like LL Bean, Crate & Barrel, JC Penney, Sears, Pottery Barn, Macy’s, and extra, Manchester Wooden eyes enlargement.
- 1990: Manchester Wooden strikes it’s manufacturing from Manchester, Vermont into a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in Granville, New York (about 20 miles down the highway). The corporate is using about 100 individuals.
- 2006: Manchester Wooden makes a play to go direct-to-consumer.
- 2008: Manchester Wooden founder Cliff Pierce passes away on the age of 78.
- 2013: New web site launched. Employment all the way down to ~55.
- 2018: Manchester Wooden declares on August 2 by way of social media that they are going to be closing operations. Liquidation sale ensues and the final day of gross sales is September 23, 2018.
The Story of Manchester Wooden
Manchester Wooden was based by Cliff Pierce in 1976. He had moved from New York to Vermont and opened his woodshop whereas concurrently operating his metallic work firm that he began 20 years prior.
The corporate grew rapidly by means of partnerships with nationwide retailers. Seeking to broaden manufacturing capacities, the enterprise moved into a bigger manufacturing facility in Granville, New York in 1990 (solely about 20 miles from their earlier location in Manchester, Vermont).
They relied closely on the community of shops that that they had established within the 80’s and 90’s. However by the early 2000’s the US furnishings market was starting to take successful from imported merchandise from abroad.
When requested concerning the challenges they confronted whereas operating Manchester Wooden, Ed remarked that a rise in international imports had put downward stress on the costs of American made furnishings.
To counter, the enterprise made an effort to ascertain a direct-to-consumer channel in 2006. They ran a showroom in Granville, New York, and tried to promote on-line with an ecommerce web site, however to little avail. Their ecommerce enterprise by no means took off.
Struggling to take care of their partnerships with nationwide retailers because of the prevalence of imported furnishings, the enterprise was declining. They downsized manufacturing by lowering the work schedule from 5 to three days per week.
Their mixed efforts of downsizing manufacturing and specializing in direct-to-consumer gross sales didn’t pay dividends. The enterprise introduced it was closing by way of social media on August 2nd, 2018, and bought its final piece of furnishings on September twenty third that very same yr.
The Legacy of Manchester Wooden
Though the enterprise is now not operational, Manchester Wooden left its mark on the Vermont furnishings business.
We’ve typically written concerning the plethora of woodworking expertise and lengthy history of furniture craftsmanship here in Vermont. Manchester Wooden was one of many high contributors to that legacy of Vermont craftsmanship throughout its time in enterprise.
The craftsmen who had been previously employed at Manchester Wooden have gone on to construct their very own furnishings companies, albeit smaller ones. There are lots of craftsmen within the Manchester space who create one-of-a-kind, customized wooden furnishings. These small companies symbolize a major chunk of the Vermont economic system, producing income, retaining the artwork of woodworking alive, and creating jobs for others within the state.
If you happen to’re trying to buy Manchester Wooden furnishings, eBay, LetGo, and Craigslist are in all probability your finest guess.
If you happen to’re in search of eco-friendly, strong wooden furnishings that’s made within the USA, look no additional. Take a look at our catalog of Vermont made wood furniture.