C.H. Briggs Co., a Reading-based independently owned wholesale distributor of interior specialty building materials for more than 55 years, announced this month that it will close.
The decision impacts 130 employees – all nonunion – across C.H. Briggs’ five locations, including 104 at its corporate headquarters and Reading fulfillment center, both of which are at 2047 Kutztown Road. The other sites are in Lansdale; Richmond, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Norcross, Georgia.
According to the company’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filing with the state Department of Labor & Industry, 82 employees will be laid off effective Feb. 1; one employee effective March 1; and 21 employees effective April 1.
A release from C.H. Briggs said the decision to close was made after repeated efforts to restructure its relationship with its primary supplier were unsuccessful.
All employees will receive a severance and benefits package, and a small team will remain through March 31 to finalize the operational details of the closure.
Julia Klein, chairwoman of C.H. Briggs Co., said in a statement:
“To say we are sad and disappointed would be an understatement. Changes in the supply chains we depended on mean we can no longer provide the quality of products and customer service that was the hallmark of our business. We made every attempt to avoid this outcome. Our efforts were exhaustive, but we were left with no other option but to wind down our operations.
“We recognize how painful this decision is for our co-workers, which is why we worked so hard to avoid it. We have a talented team, and we are doing all we can to help them be successful in the next phase of their careers. We have built a strong culture over three generations, and we are deeply grateful to our co-workers, customers and suppliers for more than a half-century of empowering, elevating and enriching the lives of the communities we serve.
“C.H. Briggs is more than just a distributor of specialty building materials. Our work has always been about people and community – creating exceptional spaces where we can all live, work, learn, play and heal. Our hope is that those spaces, and the people who design and build them, will be our legacy.”
Paula Wolf is a freelance writer