Libbey shutting 2 plants and 2 outlet stores for at least two weeks

By Tom Troy - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (TNS)

Toledo tableware manufacturer Libbey Inc. announced Friday it would halt production at plants in Toledo and Shreveport, La., because of the spread of the coronavirus and its effect on the company’s business demand.

Operations will be shut down for a minimum of two weeks beginning on Monday, with employees being laid off temporarily, the company said. It said that during that time frame benefits would remain in place.

Libbey will also temporarily close its two outlet retail stores in the U.S. for a minimum of two weeks beginning Saturday. Meanwhile, international manufacturing and distribution facilities continue to operate.

Libbey will continue to operate its distribution network, with employees reporting to work on a potentially reduced schedule.

“In accordance with the guidance of global health professionals, and in light of rapidly evolving market conditions, we made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend production at our facilities and close our U.S. stores during this period of unprecedented uncertainty,” said Mike Bauer, chief executive officer of Libbey.

“Safeguarding the health and safety of our associates, customers and the communities we serve is our top priority, and in anticipation of ongoing market headwinds, we believe this decision is prudent and necessary,” Mr. Bauer said. His remarks were contained in a news release.

Due to the rapidly evolving environment and continued uncertainties from the impact of coronavirus, Libbey said it is withdrawing its previously announced outlook for full-year 2020.

Based in Toledo, Libbey Inc. is one of the largest glass tableware manufacturers in the world, with plants in the U.S., Mexico, China, Portugal, and the Netherlands, and in existence since 1818. The company had 2019 net sales of $782.4 million.

By Tom Troy

The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (TNS)

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