Naperville Business Attorney Discuss the Closing of East Dundee Pottery Company

business closed, Naperville business law attorneyAs every successful entrepreneur knows, timing is a critical component of any business decision. Knowing when to open a new location, hire staff, reduce staff, introduce new products, or streamline a company’s catalog is crucial to profitability and the long-term health of the business. In my business law practice, clients regularly come to me with questions about knowing when to shut down their companies as well. While unfortunate and often painful, sometimes, closing your business is the best decision to avoid bigger financial problems down the road. Such is the case for a company in nearby East Dundee, as a business with nearly 150 years of storied history has announced that it will be closing its doors for good next month.

The End of a Multigenerational Era

Haeger Potteries was founded in 1871 as the Dundee Brickyard—which soon became D.H. Haeger Brick and Tile Works—the same year of the Great Chicago Fire. The fledgling company manufactured countless bricks that were used to rebuild the Windy City. In the years that followed, the company began its transition into artisanal pottery, eventually changing its name to Haeger Potteries. More than 4 million people visited Haeger’s full-scale factory exhibit at the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair. Since then, Haeger Potteries has been producing high-quality ceramic artware, including a 650-pound vase that earned the company recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records.

This week, Haeger announced that, after 145 years, it will cease operations by the end of May of this year. Most residents of Kane County and the rest of the Chicagoland region were saddened and a little bit shocked by the decision, but company officials felt they had no choice. “The ongoing recession has reduced our customer base and foreign competition has decimated our artware and decorative accessory business,” said Alexandra Haeger Estes, President of Haeger Potteries, in a press release. She went on say that gift shops and unique furniture outlets are all but extinct in today’s commercial environment, and bigger stores tend to buy their goods from other countries. Haeger could not continue to survive amidst “significant wage pressure, increased regulation, and generally rising costs.”

Deciding to Close Your Business

The announcement by Haeger Potteries highlights the difficulties that many business owners must endure when deciding whether or not to keep their companies open. While economic and market pressures are, of course, major considerations, they are not the only things to keep in mind. If your business has reached a crossroads, you must also determine how much more time and energy you are willing to invest in continuing the support the company. Is it possible to do? More importantly, do you still want to do it? If your answer is that you are not sure, it may be time to consider closing your doors or selling the business.

Before you make any decisions, you should discuss your current situation with an experienced Naperville business law attorney. We will help you explore your options and work with you to find the best solution for you and for your company. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule an appointment at The Gierach Law Firm today.



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