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Conn-Selmer to Close Kenosha Facility

Conn-Selmer announced on Dec. 4 that it will be closing its woodwind manufacturing operations in Kenosha, Wis. Production at the 95,000-square-foot plant will be transferred to the company’s woodwind facility in Elkhart, Ind. The transition of production is expected to be completed over the next 12 months.

“We have achieved a high level of expertise at our Elkhart facility through the team’s steady commitment to continuous improvement,” said John Stoner, president of Conn-Selmer. “This consolidation will help us gain efficiencies and remain a viable U.S. manufacturer in the student clarinet and flute categories.”

The Kenosha plant closure will impact approximately 100 active employees, and Steinway expects to incur charges of $0.8 to $1 million over the next few quarters. The charges include severance costs, make-ready costs to prepare the Elkhart plant, and costs for the relocation of machinery and inventory from Kenosha.

In addition, the company expects to incur expenses associated with terminating the use of certain capital equipment and real estate assets. Associated costs are contingent upon the remaining usefulness and market value of the assets.

“This very difficult decision regarding Kenosha reinforces our commitment to remain a profitable U.S. manufacturer of band instruments,” said Dana Messina, CEO of Steinway, Conn-Selmer’s parent company. “We are confident that our strategy will improve profitability and allow us to compete with lower-cost offshore manufacturers.”