Atrium to Close Branches in Florida

Shifting its business model in Florida from a builder-direct to a traditional distribution channel strategy, Atrium Cos. Inc. reports it is closing five of its six sales and distribution branches between now and the end of first quarter 2008. The company will maintain its Davie, Fla., operation and continue to operate its Atrium Shutters business from that location.

“With housing starts in Florida dropping by 70 percent in the last two years, we believe our long-term reach to the market is best served by focusing sales efforts through independent distribution,” states Bob Burns, Atrium chief operating officer. “Challenging market conditions across the U.S. and particularly in Florida have required us to make adjustments to our current business model. With this change to our Florida infrastructure we are well positioned to meet short- and long-term sales plans moving forward.”

The first branches to transition will be Ft. Myers, Vero and Orlando. The last two will be Tampa and Jacksonville. The realignment will affect the current workforce. “While this decision is necessary to keep in line with the company’s operational strategy and continuous need to address a shifting market, we regret it anytime when operational adjustments result in displacing employees,” states Burns.