Thorco Closes Plant as Online Retail Reduces Demand for Store Fixtures

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s Thorco Industries, which the conglomerate owns as a part of its Marmon Group of manufacturers, is shuttering its Lamar, Missouri manufacturing plant and laying off 93 employees.

The closing will take place this spring.

The company designs and manufactures custom point-of-purchase merchandisers and store fixtures from wire, sheet metal and tubing for the retail industry.

General Manager Debra Probert noted that “retail industry changes, including the growth of e-commerce and the opening of fewer brick-and-mortar stores, has resulted in a continued decline in demand for store fixtures, such as the wire-based merchandising displays and accessories produced by Thorco.”

Thorco Industries has been in Lamar for almost 117 years, with its origins as a manufacturer of wire potato scoopers. The company was founded in 1899 by F.M. Thorpe.

© 2016 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.