GRAND RAPIDS — After three generations of family ownership, Grand Rapids-based Amstore Corp. will permanently cease manufacturing operations at its headquarters, MiBiz has learned.
The designer and maker of custom store fixtures served national and international retailers and operated for the last decade from a 900,000-square-foot facility at 3951 Trade Drive SE in Grand Rapids, near 44th Street on the former Steelcase Inc. manufacturing complex.
Citing a retail sector that “has changed dramatically in recent years,” Amstore executives “made the difficult decision to end manufacturing in Grand Rapids over the coming months,” spokesperson Mary Ann Sabo of Sabo PR told MiBiz.
“We are working to develop a new and much smaller version of the company that can compete effectively,” Sabo said.
Amstore currently employs 133 people, all of whom will be affected by the closure, according to Sabo.
“We are deeply grateful to our outstanding team members for their hard work and dedication, especially at this difficult time,” Sabo said. “We will do everything in our power to take care of our customers and team members while helping them transition to new jobs.”
Sabo said the company is partnering with other employers in the greater Grand Rapids area to identify and fill available job openings with laid-off workers.
The company traces its roots to Muskegon in 1914, and later operated from plants in Coopersville and Grand Rapids.
Amstore’s long-time, second-generation CEO and President, Richard Kaufman, who was also one of the founders of Grand Valley State University, died four months ago at the age of 91. His son, Greg Kaufman, currently serves as president of the company.