JK Products & Services to lay off 82 employees

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The JK Products & Services plant is preparing for closure. The company is reportedly moving to Germany.

According to Jerry Deveney Executive Director of Sales with JK Products & Services says the company will be experiencing a "controlled closure."

The company has a total of 123 employees. At this time, 82 people will receive layoff notices. According to JK Products & Services officials 41 people will remain employed.

The company makes tanning beds and tanning bed products off Industrial Drive. The 135,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility began operations in Jonesboro in 1979 as Sun Ergoline and sold to JK Products and Services of Windhagen, Germany in 1999.

Region 8 News has received the following statement from JKPS:

JK-North America Moves Manufacturing to Germany

Jonesboro, Arkansas / Windhagen, Germany – JK-North America – a division of JK-Holding GmbH, the world's largest manufacturer of indoor tanning equipment - is consolidating manufacturing operations. As a result the company will be closing its Jonesboro manufacturing facility and shifting all equipment production to its headquarters in Germany.

The move supports JK-North America's efforts to balance manufacturing capacity with market and geographic supply and demand while improving its overall operating efficiencies, the company said.

Going forward the company will ship finished goods from Germany directly to its distribution network in the United States and Canada. Currently the majority of finished goods sales in North America are already made in Germany.

Customers will not experience any interruption in service and support, as the company will maintain core business operations in Jonesboro while continuing to rely on the strength of its nationwide distributor network.

JK-North America provides indoor tanning equipment to more than 14,000 tanning salons, health clubs and beauty salons throughout North America.

However, as JK Products and Services prepares for a controlled closure and laying off nearly half its staff, a  local restaurant just down the street is worried business could suffer.

"We're close and convenient and we do catering events for the industrial park around here so it does create a concern," said Owner of Whistle Stop Bistro and Catering Lisa Mardis.

Mardis said it's a domino effect. If one business losses employees or goes out of business, it begins to affect hers.

"I'm concerned all the time about business going out, especially in our community because we depend on their support," Mardis said.

Mardis said many JK Products and Services employees would come in for lunch.

"Yes they are in here a lot and on rainy days they call for delivery so that makes a difference as well." Mardis said.

Making them feel welcomed has always been a top priority.

"I take pride in knowing our customers by name that's what we are," Mardis said. "We offer comfort and good meals so they can carry on and go back to work."

Businesses have come and gone in this area before. Mardis said she tries not worry about how it can affect her business it too much.

"From experience you just got to keep the faith and carry on and be positive," Mardis said.

For some of the customers that she knows who could be layed off, she is wishing them the best.

"Hopefully a new window will open for them and they'll have a brand new opportunity," Mardis said. 

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