LAKE MILLS, Iowa — Less than two years after the Larson storm door company was sold, its new owners are shuttering an Iowa plant and two others, putting more than 300 people out of work. Fortune Brands announced on Tuesday that it will close the Larson manufacturing plant in Lake Mills, Iowa and layoff its 200 workers. The company is also closing factories in Grand Prairie, Texas and Senatobia, Mississippi.

Fortune Brands released this statement announcing the firing of hundreds of its employees:

Outdoors and Security announced on Tuesday, September 20, that they conducted a reduction in force impacting positions across the organization, including the closure of three Larson facilities (Lake Mills, IA, Grand Prairie, TX, and Senatobia, MS). The decision was based on continued efforts to mitigate external economic risks, an assessment of the industry, and the evolution of the organization to best align with its growth strategy.

This decision is not a reflection of the skills of the workforce. Rather, this is an opportunity to strengthen the organization and solidify the long-term value of the business. The company is committed to helping all of its displaced workers throughout the process. We sincerely appreciate all of these associates who have demonstrated remarkable dedication over the years.

Fortune Brands

The announcement came as a shock to Lake Mill residents. The local Chamber and Economic Development Office stated they didn’t receive any advanced warning of the closure.

“There’s a lot of families with mom and dad both working there,” Cassie Johnson of the Lake Mills Chamber and Economic Development Office. “Parents and grandparents, even students were there with the summer, there’s all kinds of people that have gone through there.”

One Lake Mills resident and business owner, Kris Singelstad, said he’s hopeful the town will recover from the hit like it did several years ago when the Cummins plant closed.

“Cummins moved their plant from Lake Mills down to Mexico, at that point we had 500-600 employees out of the Cummins plant,” Singelstad said. He further said the vacated Cummins plant is now an operation of Winnebago from Forest City.

Johnson said she is compiling a list of companies looking to hire workers to help the Larson employees. She also said she will work with the Iowa Department of Economic Development with any help they may offer.

Larson was purchased by Fortune Brands in 2020. According to the company’s website, it was founded 65 years ago in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Larson is headquartered in Brookings, South Dakota.