Skip to content
April 24, 2024

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams plants abruptly close; over 500 jobless

A sign tells Mitchell Gold employees to not report to work on August 28 as the company is ceasing operations.

Signs posted on entrances over weekend; 486 employees in Alexander and 47 in Iredell affected

By MICAH HENRY

(updated Aug. 30, 2023, 6:15 p.m.)

A Taylorsville furniture company has closed down over the weekend, due to monetary problems leaving it unable to continue operations.
Officials with the company, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, posted signs on the truck gate and office door of the Taylorsville plant at One Comfortable Place off Millersville Road dated Saturday, August 26.

The signs include:

“Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has recently and unexpectedly learned that we are unable to continue business operations.
“Any MG+BW employees that are located at the following NC locations should not report to work as of Monday, August 28th:
• Main Plant: Taylorsville
• Frame Plant: Hiddenite
• NCDC: Statesville
• Any home office remote workers are not to log in
• All home office workers.
“We are sorry about the difficulties this may cause.
“As soon as we have a schedule to get your tools & personal belongings, we will contact you. Thank you.”

Companies that have announced plans to either close a facility or conduct a mass personnel layoff are required to file with the state, under certain circumstances, a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification—commonly called a WARN notice. The WARN notice filed by Mitchell Gold Co. leaders on August 28 stated, in part, “At the present time, it is expected that approximately 440 employees at or assigned/reporting to our Taylorsville site, 47 employees at or assigned/reporting to our Statesville site, and 46 employees at or assigned/reporting to our Hiddenite site will be permanently laid off.”

Company co-founder speaks

Mitchell Gold, co-founder who started the company in 1989 with business partner Bob Williams, retired in July 2019. From that time, Gold and Williams had no involvement in running the company, he said, until April 2023 when Gold was brought in to support the new CEO, Chris Moye. Gold has assisted Moye with vendor relations, marketing, and employee relations in the past four months.

“He’s been really employee-oriented and well oriented toward our suppliers,” Gold related.

Gold said in a phone interview August 28 that he was “beyond heartbroken, depressed, frustrated, and angry” with the situation. “I feel just horrible for my employees, who have been such great employees for so many years. Some have been there for six months, some have been there for 34 years.”

Gold said he is making calls and hoping to raise capital to get financing to resurrect operations, if possible. He estimated this would take $25 to $30 million.

Current owner is private investment firm in Arkansas

Since 2014, the majority shareholder in Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has been The Stephens Group, based in Arkansas, which is a private family investment firm, according to the company’s website. When contacted about the closure, the firm issued the following statement:

“At The Stephens Group, we pride ourselves in our principles and living those out through how we conduct our business, who we work with, and what we invest in. Throughout our history, we have been able to help many companies unlock their value and succeed in the marketplace. While we do everything we can to support our portfolio companies, how their stories play out are not always fully within our control.

“We invested in Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (the “Company”) in 2014 in full support of the Company’s priorities, solid vision, and unique offerings. Over the past 9 years, we have worked closely with the Company as it has released new and exciting collections, collaborated with various designers, and designed unique pieces that are used with love in homes all across the world. Recently, we invested another $20 million to restructure the Company to support its operations and set the business up for success moving forward.

“Unfortunately, shortly after this restructuring, the Company’s lender withdrew its support, forcing Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams to cease operations. The Stephens Group knows that the Company has done the best it could in a very challenging situation and empathizes with all those who are impacted,” the statement read.

CEO letter posted on office door

On Saturday, August 26, the office door displayed a letter from Chris Moye, Interim CEO for the company, who took the leadership position April 21. The letter from Moye reads as follows:

August 26, 2023
Via Mail and Email
Re: Notice to Employees Regarding Separation Due to Facility Closure
Dear Employee:
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with official notice under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).
As you may know, the current economic climate has presented significant challenges to the furniture industry. While we have been buoyed by the support of our wonderful employees, like yourself, The Mitchell Gold Co. d/b/a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (the “Company”) has recently and unexpectedly learned that we are unable to secure critical financing to continue business operations. In the wake of this unfortunate development, the Company will sadly need to wind down operations and terminate the employment of our employees beginning on August 26, 2023. Because these events were unforeseen, we were unable to provide you and others with more notice of this difficult decision.
Your position will be affected by these events, and your last day of employment with the Company is expected to be on October 25 [Editor’s note: state officials say the date is August 25], 2023, unless you are asked to perform additional services during the 14 day period from that date (or your layoff date is otherwise revised from that date). We are sorry to have to bring you this news.
There are no “bumping rights” to determine who will be separated, and this is a permanent separation. We are also notifying the appropriate local elected officials and the State’s Dislocated Worker and Rapid Response Unit so that you and other employees can be provided as much assistance and opportunity as possible.
With respect to final pay, you will be paid your final wages, if any, up through your last day of employment. Any benefits from the Company, including health insurance benefits, will end on August 31, 2023.
You may be eligible for continuation of certain Company Benefits at your expense through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (“COBRA”). Information related to continuation of these benefits will be mailed to you separately. You should contact your local unemployment office for information regarding the availability of unemployment insurance benefits (https://www.des.nc.gov/individuals/apply-unemployment).
We regret that this difficult and unexpected situation has made this necessary. We also thank you for your service and dedication to the Company and we wish you and your family the best during this transition.
Should you have any questions about the matters contained in this notice or any other issues, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,
Chris Moye
The Mitchell Gold Co.

———————-

 

NCWorks staff to provide assistance to former MG+BW employees

Alexander County Commissioners and staff have been working with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG), Western Piedmont Workforce Development Board, and NCWorks to facilitate assistance for those who lost their jobs following the closure of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. NCWorks Career Center staff will be in Alexander County to assist these employees beginning this Tuesday.

NCWorks staff will be on hand at the CVCC Alexander Applied Technologies Center (230 Industrial Blvd, Taylorsville) on the following dates: Tuesday, August 29, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Wednesday, August 30, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Thursday, August 31 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Tuesday, September 5, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Wednesday, September 6, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; and Thursday, September 7, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

They can assist with services such as: career planning and coaching, resume review and development, job preparation workshops, scholarships for training, and skills assessment and labor market information.

NCWorks staff cannot file a person’s unemployment claim, but they can walk through the steps of filing a claim.

For more information, call the NCWorks Career Center at (828) 466-5535.

(See more important information at this link.)

48 Comments

  1. Jimmy Stone on August 26, 2023 at 7:41 pm

    Does this mean the employees must be paid through 10.25 under the NC WARN act?

  2. John Connor on August 26, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    If I worked there , I would find out if the upper management took bonuses and or depression packages and if so let your new agency’s know

  3. J on August 26, 2023 at 8:15 pm

    This is so messed up. The accounting in this corporation knew that this company was insolvent and the company warned no one. This is the week that Alexander County is starting back to school, and families are sending their kids to school, and now all of the parents and other employees at this company have to worry about being able to pay their bills.
    These people should have been given an opportunity to find employment elsewhere. It is a shame that these people have been done so poorly.

    • Terry R. on August 31, 2023 at 1:21 am

      Hi,
      I am an ART Dealer. I dropped off 26 paintings off at the Oak Brook location. I was suppose to have an event at the end of September. They have the 26 paintings and 2 sculptures. My gallery is Ross Contemporary….

      • Brett B on September 13, 2023 at 12:22 pm

        All items were returned to Terry R. I wanted everyone to be made aware of this happening.

  4. lee4519 on August 26, 2023 at 10:58 pm

    what happen to those federal laws that employees must get a 90 day notice before a plant shuts down,Wow a 1 day notice and your out of a job.

    • Liz on September 21, 2023 at 7:38 am

      We placed an order several months ago. I suppose the money is gone?

      • Jess Dagher on September 28, 2023 at 3:57 pm

        Hi Liz. Contact your credit card company and dispute it. I have 2 open orders from back in May and my furniture was never delivered. It’s so upsetting. No communication to customers.

  5. Ned on August 27, 2023 at 5:13 am

    Wow, this is messed up. They couldn’t even continue the insurance for a couple of months? It’s bad enough losing the paycheck but the insurance too?

    Wonder if these jobs went to Asia. If so I hope Americans stop buying these products.

  6. Kathy Goforh on August 27, 2023 at 8:10 am

    If people have vacation days, 401 benefits personal time off. Will the people get that pay. Also will the employees get servance pay? We are entitled to those. Please give us an answer

  7. Allan Hodges on August 27, 2023 at 8:50 am

    What a cowardly way to end people’s livelihood. MGBW was advertising for help wanted as of Friday. Some shifts were working overtime. Then they shutter the doors literally overnight?
    Is this the new norm for corporations?
    I feel so bad for all the employees and their families. Especially with medical benefits ending.
    Let’s hope the county and state hold them responsible to do the right thing,

    • Scott on March 12, 2024 at 7:34 pm

      It has everything to do with politics because political decisions and policies affect the economy and with double digit inflation people do not buy furniture. They have no extra consumable cash. It’s either buy a new designer sofa and
      love seat for $10,000.00 or make the mortgage and buy groceries for my family. The upper middle class is the new lower middle class due to the Biden administration’s policies. I truly hate that this has happened to the workers and their families, and it also affects the local community businesses as well. Sadly this is happening all across our nation. As a 22 year Navy veteran I love this great nation and the people in it. It truly breaks my heart to see the needless suffering that we are forced to endure until November 2024. My prayers 🙏 for all involved and may God bless you.

  8. Tom Faulkner on August 27, 2023 at 9:14 am

    Biden economics strikes again. Best of luck to all those at Mitchell Gold!

  9. Keith and Lynn on August 27, 2023 at 9:47 am

    I’m really sorry to hear this. It was a great company with great staff. But not unexpected. The quality of the furniture was great, but my God, their prices were astronomical! The vast majority of people could not afford to buy a Knick-knack from them. Instead of staying relevant, they priced themselves out of existence.

  10. Darrell Brown on August 27, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    I feel so bad for the employees of Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams. I lost my job due to massive layoffs at the furniture company I worked for. I was a 33 year employee. I tend to think that the management who has hands on knowledge knew it was coming.

  11. JP on August 27, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Joe Biden’s inflation stricken economy strikes again. Congratulations to all who voted for him and his disastrous policies.

  12. JP on August 27, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    Congrats Democrats!

    • Patricia A. Kaplan on August 30, 2023 at 9:19 pm

      This has nothing to do with politics! It has to do with business practices , pricing and sales!

  13. Karen Johnson on August 27, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    It’s really a shame that the employees were not given some kind of heads up so they could prepare for their next step.
    I sure management knew what was happening,they should have been upfront with their loyal employees.
    Times are hard enough as it is,now there are over 500 PLUS people scrambling.
    Shame on Mitchell Gold.

  14. Tom Smith on August 27, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    Bidenomics strikes again.

  15. Diane Kletz on August 28, 2023 at 7:34 am

    Most of my paid for order is now on hold w ryder. I am unable to get a release for what was supposed to be a 9/6 delivery. I also have a paid for chair i will probably never see, two lamps and a book case i will probably never see. Terrible!!

    • Marc Goldberg on August 29, 2023 at 2:16 pm

      I also had a delivery scheduled for a client with Ryder that is now “on hold”. It is terrible that merchandise that is paid for and at Ryder is being held hostage by Ryder. I am willing to pick up my bed but they are uncooperative and unwilling to discuss.

      • Janis Collins on August 31, 2023 at 10:48 am

        Many of us have a significant amount of paid for and undelivered furniture. No one is answering the phone at the stores, or the main customer service line. There is absolutely no information about the closing down, and plans to deliver paid for furniture on the website, or voicemail. Despicable business practices to treat employees and customers this way. The Stephens Group should be responsible for honoring and distributing paid for furniture – they are not their assets. They should be held accountable.

      • Doug on September 1, 2023 at 2:54 pm

        Marc do you have a telephone number for Ryder?

        • Katie on September 12, 2023 at 2:22 pm

          We, too, have an order that was placed in May, with ever- changing delays on shipment. We were to receive our shipment in July, then August. Now, we have this lovely announcement.
          It is terrible for the employees, and all of us now sucked into the quagmire of trying to get our money back.

    • Doug on August 31, 2023 at 10:35 am

      Does anyone have contact info for Ryder? We were told on 8/21 that our furniture was ready to ship and charged the balance of payment on 8/22. Crappy for employees and customers.

      • Lee Melahn on September 2, 2023 at 10:09 am

        I’m another designer with furniture tied up at Ryder Last Mile. I’ve been calling them morning, noon and night and politely asking for an update. Here are Ryder’s customer and delivery numbers: (866) 711-1164/3129. My hope is that they will release my furniture (paid in full and therefore my furniture) on the scheduled 9/8 delivery date. The more pressure that all of us can put on Ryder, letting them know that the problem might soon begin to reflect back on them as badly as it will on MGBW might give us an edge. I have told them that I would be more than willing to pay whatever they feel is a fair delivery charge over the delivery charge I’ve already paid to MGBW to get my furniture released. Please help by calling Ryder as often as you can and respectfully ask for updates and let them know that this will eventually reflect in a lose of your business and a stain on their reputation.

        • Dennis Roudi on September 5, 2023 at 8:53 am

          I’m in the same boat, large order being held in Grand Rapids MI. Fully paid for. I’ll be calling Ryder as you suggested. Any additional information would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Karen P on September 1, 2023 at 11:52 am

      I also have a couch on hold with Ryder. I scheduled delivery on Friday 8/25, it was supposed to be delivered Wednesday 8/30, MGBW shut down on Saturday 8/26. Now my couch is just sitting in a NJ warehouse waiting to be delivered. No news from Ryder and no responses from MGBW so far. Given what happened to their employees, I don’t feel great about what will happen to my order. 🙁

      • Muriel on September 18, 2023 at 10:41 am

        I am also a Designer who had returned an order and has been waiting, calling, emailing for my refund for two months. They collected the furniture, but have never refunded me. Is there any way of collecting this? Despicable behavior on part of the company. I will now be paying out of pocket to my clients for their refund. Horrible company.

    • Carol L on September 12, 2023 at 4:19 pm

      They owe me for $19,230.14. I hired an Attorney. But that doesn’t guarantee I’ll get my money back. Sick to my stomach on how they handled this. They had to have known and still the way they have treated their employees and paying customers.

  16. Michael Harrison on August 28, 2023 at 8:38 am

    I’ve heard of people who break off personal relationships by text messages. I can’t help but feel sad for those who likely feel they weren’t worth a more personal good-bye. Unfortunately, character is a rare commodity these days. I pray for all our families who are impacted by this devastating circumstance, then insulted by the way it was handled.

  17. Ralph Malph on August 28, 2023 at 9:18 am

    Welcome to Joe Biden’s Bidenomics!! Small manufacturing is gonna be crushed. Get all your furniture at the dollar store.

  18. Diane Reed on August 28, 2023 at 9:32 am

    We are hiring! Walk-in Interviews for all displaced Wed 2 PM to 5PM Hiring for Production, Maintenance, Quality.
    Keystone Powdered Metals
    250 Old Murdock Rd
    Troutman NC

  19. Carter Greer on August 28, 2023 at 10:49 am

    It was a good place.Sorry that it happened. A lot of good people lost their jobs.

  20. Barbara J Simons on August 28, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    I have ordered two chairs that were paid for to replace my damaged chairs. Will I be able to receive them??
    Barbara Simons
    6179474950

    • Valerie(customer from Paramus store) on August 30, 2023 at 5:50 pm

      I have a couch that was delivered with the entire bottom fallen apart. A replacement was expected. I have been reaching out to them for months and they keep telling me they are working on it and will get back to me as quickly as they can. The Paramus store is closed with a security guard at the door. How very well orchestrated.

      So sorry for all the employees left jobless.

  21. philip ISON on August 29, 2023 at 5:06 am

    We are hiring at our lawndale nc plant , leather upholsters, sewers a family owned business at the same location for 25 years. 7045323226

  22. Norris Hendrix on August 29, 2023 at 11:12 am

    The company] has recently and unexpectedly learned that we are unable to secure critical financing to continue business operations.”
    This has nothing to do with Joe Biden’s Bidenomics.
    This is clearly mangement problem by the group that bought them in 2015.
    People lost there jobs and or now trying to make it a political problem. Sorry for those who lost there jobs.

    There are several furniture companys that just open in the Conover area.

    • Dakel on September 8, 2023 at 7:49 am

      OMG ! ! !
      I’ve finally found one person that voted for Biden

  23. EJ Victor Furniture, Morganton on August 29, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    EJ Victor wants to help our community and those affected. Please contact our HR department to inquire about openings, 828-437-1991.

  24. Cecil hollifield on August 29, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    Grayfield Cabinetry is seeking want to be cabinet makers
    Only serious applicates need apply
    828 312 4363
    Off Oxford School rd in Claremont. Near Hwy 16
    Cecil holifield
    Cbhollifield@att.net

    • Stacey Everette on August 30, 2023 at 5:21 pm

      The City of Statesville is hiring. Go to statesvillenc.net to find current opportunities.

  25. Susan H. on August 30, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    Chris Moye, CEO, who brags about turning around companies, allowed unsuspecting customers and interior designers all over the country put down thousands of dollars in deposits for goods that MItchell Gold Bob Williams had no intention of delivering nor returning these customers their money Beyond despicable!!! There is no insurance for being fleeced by an unethical company and not only did Chris Moye oversee destroying employees security, he presided over leaving former customers and the trade with DEBT and no goods. Maybe when the “tools” are given back , he can work on giving customers their money back . Surely all the current store fronts have inventory that can be sold, but that will be going to those first in line for the debt which are the banks not the customers.

  26. Bob Grazioli on September 2, 2023 at 8:10 am

    Hello, we paid for a $1500 lounge chair, two $900 ottomans from their 14th St. In DC. Delivery was for November. What happens now? Do we file an American Express dispute? So upsetting!

  27. Effie C on September 5, 2023 at 7:14 pm

    I paid in full for 4 items spending @$5000. I am a customer who purchase the furniture from a MG BW designer rep. Does anyone know who I can file a claim with or find out if they will honor their commitments? Is there a number to call? Sorry to hear about the many employees now out of work. This is definitely an abrupt ending leaving unemployed workers and customers in the dark.

  28. Pamela Martin on September 16, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    So sorry for all the employees that have lost their jobs…just an awful and unfair scenario.

    Wondering if anyone has heard how to retrieve paid in full furniture that is ( supposedly ) sitting in NC warehouse? I imagine I will never see my couch that has been on order since April, but still holding out hope.

  29. James on September 25, 2023 at 11:53 pm

    Sorry, to everyone who has lost their jobs. A long time ago Mitchell Gold gave John Clawson a job at his plant. Tracy who lived close to the plant let John stay with him. I did not work out but John was happy to work. John Clawson passed away around 2012. THANK YOU FOR HELPING JOHN MITCHELL AND TRACY!

Leave a Comment