Office products company Iceberg Enterprises LLC and its manufacturing arm, Penguin LLC, plan to lay off 150 employees by mid-May while consolidating most of its operations to Sturgis, Mich.
The firm, headquartered in Park Ridge, Ill., plans to lay off 45 and close a leased warehouse facility in Howe, Ind., five miles away from its manufacturing site in Sturgis, where it also is laying off 105.
We are appreciative of the efforts of all our employees and are extremely saddened by these developments, Chief Executive Officer Howard Green said in a statement.
The company said in a news release that the layoffs are due to the economic downtown and the nonrenewal of a contract with a major customer.
Iceberg President Rich Gilbert declined to name the customer, but it was listed as Little Tikes Co. in a layoff notice that Iceberg filed with the state of Indiana.
Gilbert said in a telephone interview that our core business is very strong. It is down with the rest of the economy, but it is still vibrant and we're still here.
Iceberg recently purchased 240,000 square feet in an industrial condominium complex across the street from its Sturgis operations. The space will be used mostly for storage.
All we are doing is moving our logistics operations from Howe to Sturgis and that will probably be done by May, Gilbert noted. The new space will save money and be more efficient, he said. However, the company is downsizing its workforce to 100 workers as the contract part of its business winds down.
The company does blow molding and metal fabrication. It makes a wide range of desk, storage, folding chair or other office products.
Iceberg was formed in 2000 when Green and Gilbert acquired a desk and storage cabinet line from Newell Rubbermaid Inc.