High-end furniture retailer Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has abruptly shut down and laid off more than 500 employees in North Carolina, multiple sources report. In a notice to employees, interim CEO Chris Moye cited weak sales and unexpected trouble securing financing as the reason for the closure.
“Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has recently and unexpectedly learned that we are unable to continue business operations,” read a letter from Moye taped to the door of the company’s factory in Taylorsville, N.C., according to the Taylorsville Times. Workers were asked not to report to work beginning Aug. 28, 2023.
All 440 employees at the Taylorsville site, as well as 47 employees in Statesville, N.C. and 46 employees in Hiddenite, N.C. have been laid off, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice filed by the company.
“As you may know, the current economic climate has presented significant challenges to the furniture industry,” continued the letter from Moye as quoted in the Taylorsville Times. “While we have been buoyed by the support of our wonderful employees, like yourself, the [company] has recently and unexpectedly learned that we are unable to secure critical financing to continue business operations. Because these events were unforeseen, we were unable to provide you and others with more notice of this difficult decision.”
The 34-year-old company, founded by its namesakes in 1989, was known for creating “some of the most iconic sofas, sectionals and club chairs of the 1990s to 2000s,” according to Quartz. The retailer also developed private label lines for brands including Restoration Hardware (now RH), Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel.
Founder Mitchell Gold, who retired from the company in 2019 but remained on the board, told Furniture Today that he was “furious and heartbroken” by the development and is hopeful that someone will come forward to buy the company. “Bob [Williams] and I built something pretty special in the industry, from customer service to product and store presentation, and to see this happen is very difficult.”