Electrolux to close Memphis facility, impacting local economy

A major factory in Memphis is closing its doors.

Electrolux, which manufacturers home appliances, will be shutting down the Memphis facility towards the end of 2020.

FOX13 learned 530 people will lose their jobs.

“We are committed to investing in U.S. manufacturing and launching new Frigidaire kitchen products. By appropriately right-sizing our business for a changing market, we can invest in the growth areas and drive profitability,” said Alan Shaw, Head of Electrolux Major Appliances North America.

The company is investing $250 million in Springfield, Tennessee and will said it will be launching new cooking products.

Last year FOX13 Investigates spoke with workers who said they were receiving irregular hours.

Before opening in 2014, Electrolux was awarded a 15-year PILOT or payment in lieu of taxes worth $38 million.

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Additionally, both the city and county pledged $20 million each in bonds along with millions from the state.

Electrolux received $137 million in city, county and state incentives. Mayor Jim Strickland issued a written statement following the announcement.

“Just like they are exercising their option to leave, we will exercise out option to vigorously defend our investment,” Strickland said.

It is not clear what will be done regarding that money.

FOX13 asked city leaders about the economic impact that closing the Electrolux facility will have in Memphis.

FOX13 spoke with council member Berlin Boyd who said he got the news through an email Thursday morning.

“Think there’s over 15,000 vacancies of companies and places looking for employees, and I think also Electrolux is negotiating with the unions, the Memphis plant to see what they can do to move forward,” he said.

The city said Electrolux has committed to work with employees by allowing them to have time to find other opportunities.

The city of Memphis sent a press release with Mayor Jim Strickland’s response to the announcement of Electrolux closing its doors soon.

“After being told a month ago that the plant wasn’t closing is disappointing to say the very least,” Strickland said.

Boyd said the news is devastating.

“The one thing that we were hoping for is we have the push of new job creation and economic development growth in our city and when you lose companies, it’s definitely something that you don’t want to see,” he said.

This means 530 people will be out of jobs.