Lenox closing Kinston plant, cites economic impact due to COVID-19

Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 3:52 PM EDT
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The coronavirus is causing a big hit in Kinston with the closing of the Lenox plant.

In a letter to employees today, Lenox CEO Mada Ryder said the closing is "expected to be permanent" and that the entire plant will be shut down "in the near future".

The Kinston plant has been in operation since 1989 and has the distinction of manufacturing the White House china.

The shutdown means 159 employees are losing their jobs.

"Closing the facility is closing a chapter in Lenox's long and illustrious history as an American manufacturer of fine dinnerware products," said Ryder in the email to employees.

In a letter to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Lenox says the closing is due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.

"Sales have dropped dramatically, as most, if not all, pending orders have been cancelled," Lenox told the state.

Lenox told state officials that right now, prospects for the future are not encouraging.

The company says 134 workers will be permanently let go on April 29th, while the last day for another 25 will be July 28th.

The company told employees that once the state lifts COVID-19 restrictions, the Kinston plant will be cleaned out and shut down.