Shutterfly to close Durham production facility from Spoonflower acquisition

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Just two years since personalized photo products leader Shutterfly bought custom fabric maker Spoonflower for $225 million, the company is shutting down its 3871 S. Alston Ave, Durham, N.C., production facility, idling 108 workers. The move continues a series of facility closures and layoffs by Shutterfly over the past six months.

According to the Triangle BizJournal, most separations will start in July, with the building being permanently closed in December, according to a notification to the state of North Carolina Department of Commerce, signed by Pamela McKee, senior director of human resources. Displaced employees will be offered separation pay provided they sign a release of claims, according to the filing: “Most employees will separate on July 7, 2023, or July 28, 2023. A few employees will remain employed through December 31, 2023, at which time the building will be closed.”
“In addition, all affected employees will be eligible for rehire by Shutterfly and its affiliated companies,” the notice says. The Triange BizJournal announcement said a Shutterfly statement claimed it will maintain a Durham office while shifting production to its facilities in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and Tempe, Arizona.
“Shutterfly made it clear that they have been watching the Apples and Googles of the world invest in the Research Triangle [Park] area and they believe that continuing to expand here will help with all jobs, whether it’s engineering or operations, you name it,” said then-Spoonflower CEO Michael Jones, said in 2021. Jones is now chief consumer officer at Shutterfly.
At the time, executives sold the buyout as a move that would create more jobs in the region and increase the visibility of the Triangle, according to reporter Lauren Ohnesorge.
“As a result, Spoonflower will be closing its Durham manufacturing facility at the end of July,” the statement said. “This move, which comes on the heels of strong, sustained growth in the Spoonflower business, is intended to maximize the use of our Shutterfly manufacturing scale and help us deliver the highest-quality products to our customers as quickly as possible. We will continue to invest in and hire for our office presence in Durham.”
Spoonflower was founded by Gart Davis and Stephen Fraser in 2008, becoming a platform where artists could earn commissions by creating designs to be digitally printed on fabric, wallpaper, and home décor. After the acquisition, Shutterfly prominently featured Spoonflower artists in promotions, including the now-discontinued “Shutterfly Collective.”