Market Downturn Leads to Cut Backs at Wheeler’s

February 1, 2008

Wheeler’s Building Materials, a Georgia-based distributor of building materials with window manufacturing operations, recently announced a new round of layoffs and the closing of a number of locations, according to a report in the Rome (Ga.) Herald Tribune.

The most recent layoffs include about 65 employees at its window manufacturing facility.

Wheeler’s produces both vinyl and wood windows in a 144,000-square-foot plant in its home town of Rome. The company is letting nearly 200 other employees go from its corporate offices and other area facilities.

The Atlanta market is a “disaster area,” Mark Manis, Wheeler’s CEO, told the paper, leading the company to downsize from about 1,000 employees at its peak to less than 500. Wheeler’s had been expanding its operations, looking beyond the metro Atlanta region, even adding new operations in 2007.

Manis, who described the layoffs as “terrible,” told the Herald Tribune that the downturn in new construction in the region had cut the company’s sales by 60 percent. According to the newspaper, the company has closed two plants in Charlotte, N.C., and plants in Dalton, Calhoun, Newnan, Morrow, Madison and Cartersville, Ga., over the past year. Wheeler’s also sold a plant in Birmingham.