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by Rachel Watson, Grand Rapids Business Journal
A diversified West Michigan holding company is closing a furniture brand it has owned since 2001.
Grand Haven-based JSJ Corporation, whose portfolio includes manufacturing, distribution and service companies, said yesterday it is discontinuing Spring Lake-based izzy+, a subsidiary that designs, makes and markets furniture and seating for corporate, education and health care spaces.
“While difficult, the decision to close izzy+ is the right one for our company, and we are working closely with employees, suppliers, business partners and others to ensure an organized and thoughtful transition,” said Nelson Jacobson, chair and CEO, JSJ Corporation.
The company will stop taking izzy+ orders and end production after fulfilling supplier and contractual obligations.
JSJ estimates it will close its plant at 17237 Van Wagoner Rd. in Spring Lake in July and an izzy+ location in Middlebury, Indiana at the same time.
Seventy-two Spring Lake employees and 35 Middlebury workers will be affected by the closures.
The company will begin laying off its Spring Lake workers “within 14 days of May 28,” according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, letter filed with the State of Michigan on Monday.
Some izzy+ employees will have the opportunity to move to open positions at other JSJ portfolio companies, according to JSJ. All others will receive financial compensation, as well as services to support them through the transition.
Tom Rizzi, COO of JSJ, said the decision to shut down izzy+ was a strategic one.
“While izzy+ is an important part of JSJ’s history, unfortunately, it no longer fits within our strategic plan and goals for the future,” Rizzi said. “It’s a consumer-facing furniture company, whereas our focus is investing in portfolio companies that provide highly engineered solutions and value-added services within highly complex, business-to-business environments.
“It makes business sense to discontinue the izzy+ brand and re-position our resources in other strategic areas.”
JSJ plans to repurpose the Spring Lake facility to meet the “growing needs” of three of its five remaining portfolio companies, GHSP, Sparks and Dake.