THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Carolina Mattress Guild Inc. has joined the ranks of bankrupt Triad manufacturers, with the Thomasville company volunteering to liquidate through Chapter 7 protection, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
The family-owned company, based at 385 North Dr., had been open for 23 years. It is not known when the company halted production.
According to the Dec. 15 filing, 77 employees are listed as unsecured priority creditors who are owed wages for November. The combined total is $51,149.
Neal Grigg, co-owner of Carolina Mattress with his wife, Kathy, said in the filing the company does not expect to have funds to pay unsecured creditors.
Carolina Mattress had been touted as a local example of how domestic manufacturers could compete globally, as well as an independent bedding maker carving out a niche against national producers, such as Sealy Corp., Serta Inc. and Simmons.
Thomasville City Manager Kelly Craver said Friday he was surprised by the liquidation decision.
“From appearances, they were doing well,” he said.
Steve Googe, executive director of Davidson County Economic Development Commission, said his group had worked with the Griggs on an expansion in 2013, “but at the last minute they pulled the plug on the project.”
“We followed up several times a quarter but in the last nine months we heard nothing, as they would not return calls or even be at scheduled meetings,” Googe said. “That industry is extremely tight on profits, and I know several of their customers are discount chains that were not close by.”
The company listed assets of $1.7 million, which includes $551,668 in accounts receivable and $1.03 million in machinery.
It listed liabilities of $5.93 million, of which $3.04 million are held by secured creditors. The largest secured creditors are Future Foam Inc. of Council Bluffs, Iowa, at $1.2 million and Bank of North Carolina at $952,796.
Other liabilities are $94,495 by creditors with unsecured priority claims and $2.79 million by creditors with unsecured non-priority claims, including Leggett & Platt Springs of High Point at $652,579.
The Griggs had said their niche with retailers was being nimble with product mix and delivery, as well as producing environmentally friendly lines of mattresses that included soy-based foam and bamboo ticking.
Kathy Grigg said in an April 2010 article in the Journal that “the meat and potatoes of our lines are between $799 and $1,299, which is a reasonable price for a product that can help with a good night’s sleep and improve your health.”
In July, Carolina Mattress sold its Orlando manufacturing plant to a large retail customer, Mattress 1 One. The companies did not disclose a purchase price. Carolina Mattress had operated the Orlando plant since 2009. Carolina Mattress said at that time it planned to open a plant in the Northeast as part of shifting its production focus from promotional to a mid-to high-end price range.
The Griggs are involved in another Chapter 7 case for Grigg Properties LLC., also filed Dec. 15.
They listed $2.5 million in real property, the 385 North Dr. facility and 10 acres. They cited a secured claim of $948,608 on the property.
For liabilities, the Griggs listed Bank of North Carolina as holding a combined $586,739 in secured claims, along with $361,868 by the Small Business Administration.