Steuben Glass closes

Steuben Glass will leave its 60 workers without a job when it closes in November this year. Some of these, however, may be able to find new jobs at Corning – as per an agreement set up in 2008.

Luxury glass manufacturer Steuben Glass has announced that it will cease production at the end of November, leaving 60 workers without a job. The Corning Museum of Glass will discontinue its Steuben line, and the flagship store in New York City will close.<br>“The difficult economy, declining sales and high expenses continue to have a negative impact on the company’s profitability,” said Mark Sammit, president of Steuben LLC, which is owned by Schottenstein.<br>Schottenstein, a family-controlled, private investment firm based in Ohio, purchased Steuben Glass from Corning Inc. in 2008 and renamed it Steuben Glass LLC. Even then, Steuben Glass was struggling as younger generations preferred to buy other luxury items, such as big-screen televisions. The business lost almost USD 6 million in 2007, and, according to company spokesman Ron Sykes, Schottenstein was unable to reverse the slide and never saw a profit.<br>Sammitt thanked Steuben employees for their efforts to save the company: “Our employees and Local 1000 worked in cooperation with the company to change the trend, but the efforts at restructuring and repositioning the brand were unsuccessful,” he said.<br>A deal made at the time of purchase may help some of those 60 employees – union workers –find jobs. In fact, as per a contract with Local 1000, if Steuben Glass failed within five years, the former Corning Inc. workers could bid on open jobs at Corning for which they were qualified. <br>Corning Inc. officials said they were sorry to hear the tradition of quality, luxury glass was coming to an end.<br>For a short time, collectors can purchase Steuben Glass locally at the Corning Museum of Glass.<br>Corning has reached a deal with Schottenstein to repurchase the Steuben brand, meaning no other company can produce glass under the Steuben Glass label.<br>“We have no plans to use it, but we are preserving the brand for any uses down the road,” Dunning said.<br>