Illinois-based ACCO Brands plans to close its Pleasant Prairie manufacturing operations, eliminating 54 jobs and moving work to other facilities around the country, according to a notice sent to state officials.
ACCO supplies office, business and school products under a variety of brands including Artline, At-A-Glance, Five Star, Swingline and Mead. The company reported $1.5 billion in net sales last year, an increase of more than 25 percent. Net income was also up by 38 percent to $131.7 million. Net sales were up 6 percent through the first half of 2018 and net income increased by 33 percent.
The closure is the second Pleasant Prairie facility the company has shut down this year. In January, ACCO announced it would close its distribution center at 10303 80th Ave., eliminating 26 jobs. According to securities filings, most of the work from the facility was moved to Mississippi.
Rich Nelson, ACCO vice president of corporate communications, said the company told employees after the announcement it would seek to renegotiate the lease on its manufacturing facility in Pleasant Prairie.
“Unfortunately, as negotiations proceeded, it became clear that it was no longer economically viable to keep manufacturing operations at that site,” Nelson said. “Our decision was specific to the building and the lease, and had nothing to do with business conditions in Wisconsin. The State of Wisconsin, Kenosha County and Pleasant Prairie have been great partners with us over the years, and we’ve always appreciated their strong support.”
ACCO now is closing its facility at 10150 80th Ave., just across the street and slightly north of the former distribution center. The facility is scheduled to close by the end of the year with layoffs starting Oct. 26, according to the state notice.
Boris Elisman, ACCO chairman, president and chief executive officer, announced the plans on an earnings call in late July, saying the closure was one of a number of projects the company was undertaking to realize $30 million in annual savings.
The Mississippi Economic Development Authority announced ACCO would be adding manufacturing jobs to its Booneville facility the day after the earnings call. The company is planning to add 29 jobs to its 550 person workforce in Boonville. The authority is providing assistance to finish a railroad crossing and workforce training while local governments are providing tax abatement on equipment for the expansion.
Nelson said six of the 54 employees have been selected for jobs at ACCO’s Lake Zurich, Illinois headquarters or for positions in Mississippi.
Another 13 jobs not included in the state notice will be relocated to a new facility. The jobs are related to the assembly of large laminating machines and Nelson said the company is currently looking for a facility to lease in northeast Illinois or southeastern Wisconsin.