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Thomas Russell

Henkel Harris ceases production but still seeks buyer

WINCHESTER, Va. — Henkel Harris ceased production here Jan. 31, after a 66-year history of manufacturing some of the best known and most respected high-end case goods in the United States.

The company announced in late October that it planned to close by the end of the year due to the effects of the recession and overseas competition. It extended that to the end of January to finish uncompleted orders.

The company also has been trying to find a buyer to pick up where the longstanding manufacturing operation left off. But while there has been some interest, this has not yielded a sale of the assets or the company name.

Henkel Harris has been holding weekend warehouse sales to sell its remaining finished goods inventory. The Henkel family also plans to meet next week to discuss the future course of the company, said Tim Stump, president of merger and acquisition specialist Stump & Co., which was hired in November to advise officials on strategic options.

Stump said there are continuing discussions with people who are interested in buying the business and possibly operating it from its home base of Winchester. If no agreement can be reached, the company would sell its machinery and equipment as well as its 300,000-square-foot plant.

The company had about 110 production workers at the time of the October announcement. Stump said this number had dwindled to a small staff completing orders until the late January closing.

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