Vanguard buys former Drexel plant in North Carolina
CONOVER, N.C. – Vanguard Furniture has acquired a former Drexel Furniture manufacturing plant in Morganton, N.C. Known locally as Drexel Plant #60, the 163,000-square-foot factory will be restored, refurbished and stocked with new equipment.
“This plant has a rich history and an ideal footprint for making custom furniture,” said Vanguard President Andy Bray. “The building is on one level, has high ceilings and will allow Vanguard to efficiently warehouse materials and ship finished furniture.”
The plant will create up to 150 new jobs and will be used to manufacture case goods and upholstery. Operations are set to begin around April.
High demand and supply chain issues prompted the decision to expand domestically.
“Despite the problems it has created, one good thing arising from supply chain issues is the reemergence of U.S. manufacturing,” said Bray. “We want to fully control the materials and the quality. And manufacturing closer to our customers reduces transportation costs and delivery time.”
“Vanguard has outgrown its ability to meet demand with its current manufacturing facilities,” he said. “The fourth quarter of 2021 was the biggest shipping period in our 53-year history, and we still have a very large backlog. There is steady demand for high quality custom upholstery and case goods.”
Bray said the Morganton plant was selected because of its craftsmen community.
“The local community has hundreds of generational craftsmen with sawdust in their blood. Many of our best artisans and craftsmen currently make the 30-mile trip to our Conover headquarters every day and are thrilled at the prospect of not having to commute as far. This is a classic win-win. We create jobs and with expanded capacity and shorten lead-times for our dealers and their customers.”
The family-owned Vanguard currently employs more than 600 people. The company operates six manufacturing plants and has a 40,000-square-foot showroom in High Point.