Armstrong Flooring reports loss, cuts 70 jobs in first quarter

Armstrong Flooring eliminated 70 jobs in early 2018 as it retooled its marketing strategy amid declining sales.

Under its new strategy, the flooring maker headquartered in Manor Township, Lancaster County, is handing over marketing, merchandising and direct-sales representation responsibilities to its distributors, the filing said.

Armstrong previously shared the responsibilities with its distributors. The new structure was designed to provide enhanced support and responsiveness to retailers, the company said.

The job cuts took place in Lancaster, although some were at other locations around the country, said Stephen Trapnell, a company spokesman.

“We worked to support the affected employees through severance and career transition assistance,” Trapnell said.

Costs related to the job cuts totaled $3.1 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the company.

In addition to transferring some marketing responsibilities for residential flooring products to distributors, Armstrong Flooring is increasing its focus on national retailers and commercial customers, including architects, designers and contractors, Trapnell said.

Earlier marketing changes led to the elimination of 40 positions in the first quarter of 2017 as Armstrong consolidated its commercial and residential go-to-market strategies.

Those employees also received severance benefits, the filing said. Costs  totaled $4.6 million.

The layoffs follow the resignation of Armstrong’s senior vice president and chief product officer, Joe Bondi. The company announced  his departure in February but noted he is staying on through May 31 to help with the transition to the new strategy. 

In the meantime, Armstrong’s earnings and sales both took a hit in the first quarter.

Armstrong reported a net loss of $10.4 million for the first three months of 2018, an increase from a net loss of $7.8 million for the same period in 2017.

Armstrong reported sales of $257.9 million in the first quarter of 2018, down from $265.2 million in the first quarter of 2017.  

The company employs 3,500 people across 15 manufacturing facilities, including one in the city of Lancaster.

It operates two international facilities, one in Australia and another in China.

In August, the company announced the closing of facilities in Tennessee and Mississippi.

Shelby White
Shelby White covers banking and finance, law and Lancaster County for the Central Penn Business Journal. For tips, email her at swhite@cpbj.com.

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