Remington closes Kentucky plant

The Remington Outdoor Company will begin ending operations at its Mayfield, Kentucky, plant on Friday as part of a larger plan to consolidate manufacturing for a host of brands to Alabama.

In a statement, the company described the closure as “an effort to become more organizationally focused and competitive.” The plant opened shop 20 years ago and employs around 200 people.

Shifting efforts from Mayfield to Huntsville, which are about 250 miles apart, will take several months, the company said, adding that management selected Rocket City for three reasons: “logistical proximity and freight synergies; organizational synergy and focus with engineering, sales and marketing; Facility overhead leverage and streamlining.”

ROC is headquartered in Madison, North Carolina, and manages an estimated 19 brands, making it one of the largest collections of privately owned U.S. gun makers.

The effort to push manufacturing efforts to The Rocket City launched in early 2014 when the company along with the state governor announced plans for investing $110 million and adding about 2,000 new jobs. Remington will occupy a 500,000-square foot building formerly used as a Chrysler plant.

The endgame for Remington is to reduce operating costs and boost profits, but the company is not quite there yet. Last month, Remington reported a $135.2 million loss for the year and attributed it to the consolidation of operations for roughly half of its brands.

In financial filings released in April, Remington described the expenditures as one-time “restructuring and start-up” costs that would span two years. Remington’s loss in 2015 was made up of an additional $72.7 million in operating costs, and $68.4 million in federal excise taxes, according to the filing. In 2014, the company reported a $68.2 million loss, which is just shy of half the total loss in 2015.

Yet, efforts in Alabama appear to be going swimmingly. A February report by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce showed Remington having 324 employees with an hourly pay rate almost $10 higher than was required by the company’s development agreement with the city and state. If all goes according to plan, Remington will have 680 employees by the end of 2016 and more than 1,800 in five years.