Written BY: Kristin Craik
Sher-Wood Hockey Inc will move its remaining 15 per cent composite hockey stick production to China later this year. As a result, Sher-Wood will have to lay-off around 40 employees.
The Sherbrooke, Quebec based Sher-Wood is a legendary 62 year old company whose reputation was built on producing high quality wooden hockey sticks that were beloved by pros and amateurs. In recent years the company has since delved into composite stick production. Sher-Wood has been moving composite stick production to China for years. Sher-Wood says it had no choice but to move its remaining stick production to stay competitive in the hockey stick market. 85 per cent of Sher-Wood’s production is already manufactured in China.
“We’re the last hockey stick company to do this,” said Eric Rodrigue, Sher-Wood’s vice-president of marketing and product development. “We fought hard to keep production here, but it wasn’t profitable anymore.”
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Sher-Wood has been losing market share in the composite stick industry because of falling product prices. Moving its composite hockey stick manufacturing as well as goalie sticks with foam blockers to Asia will bring down production costs.
"We took, maybe, too much time to change from wood to composite raw material," Rodrigue said. "We have a really good stick, but the demand is not there."
Other items such as hockey accessories, souvenirs and other hockey products will continue to be manufactured in Sherbrooke. Sher-Wood’s wooden stick, now titled its “Antique Collection,” will also continue to be manufactured in Quebec. The company plans to keep its headquarters as well as 110 employees in Canada.