Beechworth Windows’ Wisconsin Plant to Close as James Hardie Exits WindowsNovember 9th, 2018 by Drew Vass, Executive Editor
Employees of Chicago-based Beechworth Windows tell DWM magazine that the company’s Ladysmith, Wis.-based manufacturing facility is scheduled to close. The news follows an investor relations release posted November 8, 2018, by parent company James Hardie, explaining that the company has decided to move in a new strategic direction—one that includes closing its “windows business.” James Hardie CEO, Louis Gries, states in the release, based on a financial assessment, his company will move forward with added emphasis on its fiber cement segment.
“After a detailed review of our product portfolio and business segments, we have determined the appropriate path forward is to discontinue the windows business and the Multiple Contour Trim product line, and to simplify our core ColorPlus product offering,” says Gries. “These decisions will help focus us on our core business, drive higher return on capital and accelerate our focus on 35/90 in North America, €1 billion in 10 years in Europe and continued growth in Asia Pacific.”
Despite the discontinuation, Beechworth will still sell its remaining window products, company officials say. Beechworth dealer and Alexandria, Va.-based Nation’s Choice Windows was alerted of the discontinuation just a few days ago, according to one of the company’s sales representatives. The representative says a Beechworth employee contacted the company directly to inform it of the change. The Beechworth representative informed Nation’s Choice that, although the company is closing, dealers could still take orders for its remaining windows. Nation’s Choice has since decided to no longer sell Beechworth windows, deeming it a risky move to sell products associated with a discontinued company.
“This [discontinuation] doesn’t affect us really,” comments a Nation’s Choice sales representative. “We still sell a lot of other fiberglass windows.”
According to a local news source, Beechworth recently provided a formal notice of workforce reduction at its Ladysmith location. Effective January 7, 2019, a total of 80 employees will be affected.
Phone lines at Beechworth’s headquarters, in Chicago, Ill., already have been disconnected, but the company’s main phone, listed on its website, is still in operation.