Archive for the ‘Furniture’ Category
From the CDF:
Northeast Mississippi industries can absorb many, if not all of the 480 people laid off as a result of Lane Furniture Industry’s recent Saltillo facility closure. Among those hiring are Ashley Furniture Industries, Prime Hospitality Group, American Furniture, and H.M. Richard’s.
“The furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi is very healthy and many of these dislocated workers will have the opportunity to stay within the furniture sector,” said Community Development Foundation President David Rumbarger. “It is the work ethic of hard workers like those at Lane and others that have made the furniture business in Northeast Mississippi the largest cluster of companies.”
Many industries ask job seekers to apply on site while others are utilizing the WIN Job Center to facilitate its hiring process. The intent of the WIN Job Center is to simplify all programs under a single, comprehensive system. The Mississippi Department of Employment Services and The WIN Job Center will hold four Rapid Response sessions Wednesday, February 26, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. as well as a job fair from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. All events will take place at the WIN Job Center’s Belden location and are available for former Lane employees only. Over 15 employers will be present. For more information, visit mdes.ms.gov. Read the rest of this entry »
Bauhaus, which was founded in 1989 in Saltillo, was acquired by La-Z-Boy for $60 million in 1999.
La-Z-Boy Chairman, President and CEO Kurt Darrow said the company no longer fit into its business model.
From La-Z-Boy’s perspective, with our emphasis on integrated retail, Bauhaus is not a strategic fit from a size perspective in terms of its revenue or earnings and we believe our resources will be further enhanced by narrowing our focus to our core business strategy.”
While terms were not disclosed, La-Z-Boy is selling Bauhaus to an investor group led by Bauhaus President Britt Allred.
Said Darrow: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to sell Bauhaus to an investor group that will provide continuity and seamlessness to all its customers through the transition period to new ownership. I am confident Britt and his team will ensure customers receive the same level of innovation and service from Bauhaus that they have come to expect and we wish the new ownership group and employees all the best going forward.”
The deal should be completed by the end of La-Z-Boy’s fourth quarter, which is in April.
La-Z-Boy’s remaining brands in its upholstery division includes its namesake brand and England. The company also has a case goods division that includes American Drew, Lea, Hammary and Kincaid.
Jackson Furniture, the Cleveland, Tenn.-based furniture company that announced last fall it was expanding its operations in Northeast Mississippi, has moved quickly.
The company has two facilities – one in Mantachie and the other in Myrtle – and employs about 250 people between them.
Company executive vice president Keith Jackson, along with economic development and city officials from both cities, had a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the Myrtle plant this morning.The event served as a ribbon-cutting for both plants.
“We’ve gone from zero to 250 really fast,” he said. “It’s been really easy.”
The company, founded in 1933, has manufacturing facilities in Tennessee and northern Virginia, and Jackson said having plants in Northeast Mississippi, in the heart of upholstered furniture manufacturing in the country, made sense.
“This is perfect for us, for our suppliers we have here,” Jackson said. “You go where your customers are.”
Jackson/Catnapper employs about 1,300 people among its four plants. Read the rest of this entry »
If you missed Thursday’s story in the Daily Journal that the furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi being able to absorb some of the 480 layoffs at Lane Furniture, it seems that other companies also are stepping up.
For example, Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest furniture manufacturer and supplier, has openings at its Ecru and Ripley plants.
Brent Koslo, Ashley’s vice president of world wide manufacturing, said the company has 150 openings between the two plants.
Ashley is having a job fair Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at each location, hiring for upholstery, upholstery supervisors and the warehouse.
The company employs about 3,000 workers in Northeast Mississippi.
So, with Ashley’s 150 openings, United’s 100 and other openings at Albany Industries, Affordable Furniture, Southern Motion and others, Lane employees have opportunities available.
Parent company Heritage Home Group is reorganizing its operations less than two months after it assumed control of most of the remaining assets of Furniture Brands International, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 9.
Its brands include Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, LaneVenture, Pearson, Hickory Chair, Drexel Heritage and Maitland-Smith.
Lane employed 1,400 people at its manufacturing plants in Belden and Saltillo, as well as its office and warehouse in Verona and another distribution center in Wren prior to FBI’s bankruptcy filing.
Saltillo Mayor Rex Smith ssid he and city officials were caught off guard by the announcement.
“We knew they had some difficulties before the bankruptcy filing, but we were feeling hopeful after they got new owners that they could continue on,” he said. “A lot of good people are losing their jobs, and we’re going to get together and talk about what we can do. We can’t fill all those jobs immediately, but we’re going to keep at it.”
Smith said Lane was the city’s largest employer.
MDES said it had not received any information about Lane’s other facilities, but a letter from Heritage Home Group said the Saltillo closure “is expected to be permanent; no employees will be retained at this plant.”
Gloria Neal of MDES said a rapid response team would be sent as soon as possible to help employees with transitioning to other jobs. The assistance would include help with resumes, unemployment benefits sign-ups, information about training programs, etc.
“We’re just waiting to hear from the company,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Community Development Foundation in Tupelo said, “CDF’s focus is to create new opportunities for Lane’s displaced workers transitioning them into re-employment. We are working with several companies and anticipate employment opportunities for these workers in the near future.”
There had been renewed hope in September when Furniture Brands attracted a venture firm, KPS Capital Partners, in addition to another firm, as potential bidders.
After a brief bidding war, KPS submitted a winning bid of $280 million for Furniture Brands at a bankruptcy auction, and on Nov. 25, it renamed the former Furniture Brands to Heritage Home Group.
At the time, KPS said, “This is the beginning of a new era for Heritage Home Group and its brands,” Raquel Vargas Palmer, a partner in KPS, said after the sale. “The company has a new owner, a new CEO, a new board of directors and a new strategic direction. Heritage Home Group launches with truly iconic brands, a solid financial structure and access to KPS’ financial resources and expertise.”
As part of its bid, KPS said it would offer employment to most of Furniture Brands’ employees.
Heritage did not say how many people it was letting go in the company reorganization, in which separate brand presidents would be eliminated and instead be led by a merchandising group.
According to Furniture Today, Heritage Home Group CEO Ira Glazer said layoff are a ”necessary element of our ongoing efforts to create a highly competitive organizational structure.”
Glazer said the number of jobs being kept would exceed the number of those being laid off. Read the rest of this entry »
The Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina reports that Heritage Home Group is shutting down it’s last two Thomasville furniture facilities. About 80 people will be laid off.
The move was expected, according to the story.
KPS placed all the brands of the defunct company under the newly renamed Heritage Home Group. The brands include Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Maitland-Smith, Pearson, Henredon, LaneVenture. Labarge and Hickory Chair.
Lane employed about 1,400 workers across Northeast Mississippi prior to Furniture Brands’ Sept. 9 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. It’s not known how many it still employs. HHG officials have not returned phone calls or emails seeking additional information.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal:
A Thomasville employee said today that employees “have very much been expecting this and (we) made it a lot longer than we had figured. Many are relieved because the conditions have got so bad in here with inventory and supplies that we can’t complete orders.”
(Heritage Home CEO Ira) Glazer said in a separate memo sent to all Heritage employees Monday that the company was creating a new merchandising group that would have “the best assortment of products across all our brands to satisfy the needs of our core consumers.”
Glazer said in the Monday memo the job cuts “are unfortunately a necessary element of our on-going efforts to create a highly competitive organizational structure. That said, we are proud that the many jobs saved by the formation of Heritage Home and the acquisition of our brands far exceeds the number that are being let go.”
The inaugural Tunica Furniture Market started this morning at 8 a.m. and wraps up Thursday at 5 p.m.
More than 40 companies are exhibiting at the show, which is spread out over three venues: Harrah’s Convention Center, Harrah’s Event Center and Gold Strike Casino.
We got there about midday and visited the two Harrah’s locations, where 10 of the companies were showing.
The exhibitors included furniture manufacturers, mattress companies, lamp companies and business service providers. In all the filled about 50,000 square feet of space, according to market co-founder Scott Morton.
Attendance was sparse, at least when we were there, but Morton said a “steady stream” of buyers and retailers were going between the sites. Business was expected to pick up later in the day and tomorrow.
One retailer we talked to said the early January dates of the market were perfect, allowing her to get product in her stores before tax season. Exhibitors said the main reason why they were attending was to drum up business before tax season as well. And some said Tupelo’s early February market was not ideal because smaller retailers were unwilling or unable to leave their stores in the midst of the tax-time selling season.
Morton said both markets can help each other.
“I think both Tunica and Tupelo can co-exist,” Morton said. “I’ve never wanted it any other way. … I just think there’s been a demand for having a market well ahead of tax season that hasn’t been met until now. We can both have successful markets and show the world what’s going on in North Mississippi.”
Read more in Thursday’s Daily Journal.