CB Fine Jewelry Co. Ltd announced the closure of its jewelry manufacturing business. According to company spokesperson David Blyler, the Thailand-based company ceased operations on Jan 31st and is currently undergoing legal proceedings to meet obligations to creditors. “It obviously was a very difficult decision for the company to make,” says Blyler. “In operation since 2003, CB Fine had acquired an extremely talented workforce of over 250 word-class jewelry artisans, support staff, and managers. We had all come to see each other as a large extended family.”
According to Blyler, it was that sense of family and personal responsibility to its employees that partly led to the closure of the Bangkok manufacturer, which had become renowned worldwide for its jewelry craftsmanship and vintage styling. “In August 2006, orders from our primary American customer dropped by 75% and never returned to normal levels,” explains Blyler. “This customer accounted for 85% of CB Fine’s total sales and the dramatic reduction of orders hit the company hard. But instead of laying off a proportional number of staff, we thought that the company could survive the lean time by making small staff cuts and acquiring new customers. Unfortunately, we were unable to acquire enough new clients and that, coupled with the rise in gold and platinum prices, devaluation of the US dollar and an overall sluggish US economy, forced management into making the decision to shut down operations.”
CB Fine Jewelry, Ltd was able to meet its final commitments to its staff by using the company’s cash reserve to pay out severance pay, as required by Thai law. At the same time, CB Fine is seeking to maximize the liquidation of its assets, so as to best meet its responsibilities to creditors.