FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) -- Riverside Furniture Corp. will lay off 250 workers at its plants in Fort Smith and elsewhere, as the economic slowdown has stalled consumer spending.
The company said it will combine operations at two of its plants in Fort Smith into a single operation in January. The layoffs will follow.
Officials said the cuts will be across Riverside's manufacturing, administration, marketing and other operations, including its rough mill and dimension plant in Russellville.
Company president Scott Ostrander said sales of home furnishings and other goods have slowed as consumers warily watch the stock market and worry about the economy.
"We certainly recognize the impact these actions have on our employees and their families and regret that we are forced to make these difficult decisions," Ostrander said in a statement Thursday. "But until more normal market conditions return we must operate our business as efficiently as we can."
Ostrander did not return a call for comment.
Riverside, which designs, imports and manufactures middle-tier furniture, was founded in 1946. The private company now employs about 1,500 workers and has estimated annual sales of about $98 million.