DeLuxe Media Services, the North Little Rock facility that began business as Rank Video, has told employees that it would be shutting the plant down in a phased process that will result in complete closure by the end of March.
The plant once employed as many as 850, but a company spokesman said that number had dropped to around 500 today. The facility began as a producer of videocassettes. A spokesman said the company was "behind the curve" as video technology shifted to DVD format and sales volume didn't rise to the level necessary to keep the plant open.
Employees are receiving the news in meetings today. Some are on weekend break and will learn of the closure through news accounts.
The company's release is on the jump. It mentions continued efforts to sell the plant, a prospect that conceivably could mean a resumption of similar work there.
Todd Larson, executive director of the North Little Rock Economic Development Corporation, said the city had been working since March with two companies interested in the facility, but a deal was dependent on either of the prospects striking sufficient video copying deals with major studios to justify the expense of leasing the plant. He said he was "reasonably optimistic" because of the good quality of the plant, its state-of-the-art equipment and the presence of a trained workforce. If that doesn’t work out, he said the Metropolitan Regional Alliance is working with an industrial prospect seeking a building of the size of DeLuxe – about 700,000 square feet.
September 21, 2006
PRESS RELEASE –
FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
In September of 2004, Rank Group Plc, the parent company of Deluxe Media Services LLC, announced that it would conduct a review of the technical andcommercial implications of possibly separating both Deluxe Laboratories and Deluxe Media Services from
the rest of the Rank Group. Since that time, the worldwide Deluxe businesses have participated in exploratory discussions and, in some cases, due diligence activities with many potential buyers. As a result of those efforts, the Deluxe Laboratories, Deluxe Digital Studios, and Deluxe Media Services UK businesses have already been sold and separated
Due to a lack of needed volume and customer commitments to such volume, the North Little Rock, Arkansas facility, under Rank ownership, will discontinue DVD packing and replication operations effective November 20, 2006, and display build and distribution operations no later than January 15, 2007.
We anticipate the facility will be completely closed by March 31, 2007. All positions in this facility will be eliminated between November 2006 and March 2007.
For the next four months, many crucial business activities will continue in this facility. Deluxe
management will make available severance, outplacement services, and other means to assist
employees in coping with this difficult time. Deluxe intends to continue to seek purchase
opportunities for the various assets located in the plant, but is unable to predict how these potential asset purchases could affect the employment situation of this operation, if at all.
All media inquiries should be directed to, Marc Haynes, World-wide Vice President, Human
Resources for Deluxe Media Services LLC.