Ipswich furniture factory to shut its doors

Bedroom furniture manufacturer Kingwall Manufacturing is expected to offer redundancies to 41 staff in the coming weeks unless the company received a surge in orders before August 19 – a unlikely possibly according to the manufacturer, which supplies to retail outlets across Australia, including Harvey Norman, 40 Winks and Snooze Australia.

Economic pressures, including cheap overseas imports, the strong Australian dollar and a domestic slowdown in sales, will force the factory that has been operating for 59 years to close, The Queensland Times reported.

Staff, some who have worked there for between 15 and 50 years, have given notice that they could lose their job at the Ipswich factory come August 19 when the manufacturer will cut 41 staff.

Kingwall Manufacturing, formerly trading as Kingston and Wallace, is owned by brothers Jeff and Wayne Wallace.

The brothers told The Queensland Times that their bedroom furniture manufacturing business has been steadily declining over the past few decades. The pair said they have been doing whatever they could in the past few years to keep afloat for their staff, including chasing work in the mining industry fitting out workers’ accommodation, the report reads.

However poor domestic sales, the high Aussie dollar and strong competition from cheaper furniture manufacturing countries, such as China has push the company into decline.

The recent closure of Boral’s plywood plant in Ipswich has also contributed to Kingwall’s trade decline. The bedroom furniture manufacturer has completed work for Boral which closed in June.

Boral’s Ipswich plant closure saw 164 jobs go, while last year the closure of Australian Hardboards saw 145 cut and the closure of engineering firm Bradken saw 120 jobs go.

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