DeFehr Furniture shuttering Winnipeg plant, affecting hundreds of jobs

A furniture manufacturer is shutting down its Winnipeg production facility, putting more than 200 people out of work.

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

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

The plant manufactures master bedroom, home office, and entertainment case goods, which is furniture built with interior storage capacity. It has been in operation 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 cut into his bottom line further.

“My shipping costs have tripled on items that I need to source from overseas. In some cases, the shipping cost now is worth more than the item that I'm buying,” he told CTV News.

The company said all on-hand customer orders will still be completed.

He said the company is hosting job fairs for employees who are set to be laid off, and is working with a number of large Winnipeg companies to get employees hired on to new jobs.

The facility will cease operations on Aug. 10.