Penloyd LLC In Tulsa Lays Off 187 Workers

Thursday, January 8th 2009, 11:33 am
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Another Tulsa business lays off employees.  Penloyd is letting 187 workers go.

Penloyd managers did not return phone calls from The News On 6, but released a statement saying the troubled economy is to blame for the cuts.  The news is just the latest chapter for a business that has called Tulsa home for 81 years.

Penloyd, located at 2900 E. Apache, manufactures display fixtures and wood cabinets for the retail industry.  Its clients include Dillard's, BassPro Shops, and Tulsa's own Miss Jackson's.      

Thursday morning the company announced it's cutting 187 employees from its payroll.  A company statement says the falling global economy has caused its customers to cut back on spending and hold off on key projects planned for the first few months of 2009.

The statement reads:  "... we must promptly take these steps to scale back our production staff, retaining resources necessary to complete ongoing projects, handle Customer Service, pursue new work, and prepare for the expected summer build cycle."

Thursday's cuts are the latest to hit the longtime Tulsa company. It was founded in 1928 as the Oklahoma Fixture Company.   But, in 2003 it went bankrupt and was acquired by Penloyd.  Two years later 500 people worked at the company and the shop ran close to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, doing around $60 million worth of work.  At the time, the CEO told The News On 6 he expected a bright future.      

"Even though times are better now, it's still a very competitive market and manufacturing is very competitive so we're constantly trying to work for lower cost and work faster and smarter," said Penloyd CEO John McNicholas in 2005.

Now three and a half years later, Penloyd is in the restructuring mode again.

The company says it's confident it will be stronger in the long run and plans to remain a vital part of Tulsa.

The company says it's still proceeding with projects planned for the summer and says all the work underway will be finished and delivered to its customers.