Layoffs, Closures and Bankruptcies 2022. The Latest in the Furniture Industry – Furniture Today | Vette Leader

Layoffs and plant closures are on the rise as consumer demand for furniture and bedding has slowed.

HIGHLIGHT – The sudden drop in consumer demand this year has hit furniture Retailers and manufacturers are caught off guard, leading to skyrocketing inventories, falling orders and chaos in the supply chain. The dramatic change has left many companies in a challenging financial position, leading to a rising tide of 2022 layoffsPlant and store closures and even Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings.

These problems have been compounded by a weak housing market, rising interest rates and amazing shifts in the economy inflation ratefor everything from fuel to employees. Since there is already a bear market, others are wondering how to define a recession and if you could do that at all benefit the industry.

Here’s a look at some of the companies that have been impacted by the recent slowdown, including those that have had to close their business:

United Furniture Inds./Lane

Mid-June, Lane Furnishingsannounced that it would replace CEO Mike Watson with Todd Evans, the former CEO of Standard Furniture. Evans had served in anewly created role of PresidentCase Goods and Global Sourcing with Lane since March 2021. At the same time, Jay Quimby, Executive Vice President of Sales and a 23-year company veteran, also left.

“Our primary goals post-pandemic are to focus on product improvement, value and overall reliability,” Evans said at the time of his appointment.

The company soon afternamed Ruff Thomas and Keith Newsto senior sales positions in a restructured sales team. Thomas was sales manager for Lane’s domestic division and News was appointed sales manager for Lane’s import division. Both were veteran furniture men. News previously worked with Evans at Standard Furniture, and Thomas previously managed sales at another Mississippi upholstered furniture manufacturer, American Furniture (since renamed Peak Living).

“A key trait that has allowed them to be successful over the years is their ability to listen actively and carefully,” Evans said in announcing the duo’s appointment. “This allows them to support their sales teams quickly and appropriately. Because they do that, they can freely work with our distributors.”

Then, on June 30, the company announced that it would300 employees laid off, closure of its metal stamping facility at High Point. In addition, the company announced plans to convert a manufacturing facility in Amory, Mississippi to a warehousing-only facility and operations in Winston-Salem, NC to an East Coast distribution center.

Prior to the announcement, Lane employed more than 3,000 people at 18 plants, offices and distribution centers in California, Mississippi and North Carolina in the United States, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. After the transition, the company expects to employ just over 2,700 people across its 17 operations across the United States.

Serta Simmons

In the first quarter of this yearSerta Simmons beddingsubmitted at least threeWARN Act(Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) announces plans to close factories in Virginia, Iowa and Kansas.

Thatrecent application for the company’s factory in Lenexa, Kan., where Beautyrest products are manufactured, employs 70 people. In April, the company announced the closure of its Clear Lake, Iowa, facility, which employed 86 people. The company notified the state of Virginia on April 29 that it was closing its Fredericksburg, Virginia, factory, which employs 128 people.

“We are in the process of optimizing our manufacturing footprint to create operational efficiencies and make the most of our network to meet the needs of our retail partners and consumers while creating a best-in-class employee experience. As part of this, we are expanding our operations in certain areas and consolidating other operations,” the company said.

corsica

Mid-AprilCorsicana has appointed a new CEO, former Leggett & Platt managing director Eric Rhea. His unenviable first public assignment was to shut down the company’s 165,000-square-foot box bed manufacturing facility in Indiana, which had just opened in March. At the time, Rhea described the move as “flattening our organization and streamlining our infrastructure,” and said it was a necessary step for the company to return to its value-driven roots as a low-cost mattress provider.

The company announced this two months laterMattress factory closure iconin Richmond, Virginia, when Corsicana acquired Symbol in April 2021. Rhea described this plant closure, along with the Indiana plant closure, as “another necessary step in our quest to return as the industry leader in value-for-money bedding.”

Less than a week later, Corsicana along with 11 affiliated companiessubmitted for Chapter 11bankruptcy and began working with Blue Torch Finance as a stalking horse bidder on an asset purchase. According to its filing, the company reported assets of $151 million and liabilities of $260 million. The company owed unsecured creditors $45 million with an additional $145 million in funded debt.

Corsicana subsequently received up to $58 million in debtor-owned financing, which includes up to $18 million in term loansBlue Torch Finance which Corsicana wishes to acquire, and up to $40 million in revolving loans fromWingspire Capital.

In announcing the funding agreement, Rhea indicated that the company is expected to emerge from the application, able to refocus on its core customers and operate more efficiently.

Southern Movement/Fusion

It began with a call for voluntary layoffs at Southern Furniture Inds. based in Pontotoc, Mississippi, the parent company of exercise pad manufacturer Southern Motion and pad manufacturer Fusion. Citing a slowdown in demand, the company said it will reduce its workforce and is initially looking at voluntary layoffs. This call resulted in approximately 10 employees leaving the company.

However, within a week the company announced another280 employees would be laid offas the company tried to balance its production schedules with lower demand.

“This reduction affected less than 15% of our approximately 1,900 employees across multiple locations in northern Mississippi. These are always difficult decisions and we hope to be able to rehire these employees in the near future as demand improves,” said the company’s CEO, Mark Weber.

Modsy

Interior design platform Modsy, once an up-and-coming design and e-commerce darling, wassupposedly switched offAccording to industry reports, the company laid off most of its staff at the end of June. Founded in 2015, Modsy was one of a handful of new digital concepts aimed at replacing traditional business processes with cloud-based alternatives. Modsy founder and CEO Shanna Tellerman confirmed layoffs ina statement to TechCrunchbut also announced the intention to continue the business.

“We’ve worked hard building Modsy over the past seven years and never expected to disrupt our business. Our focus was and still is on our customers. We intend to fulfill customer orders for goods and we are working on a process for our design service customers. We ask for your patience while we work through this plan. I hope this turn of events doesn’t define the Modsy story for many people, and we’re truly sorry. We want to thank our team, our designers and our customers,” Tellerman said in his statement.

The company did not provide information on the number of employees laid off.

steel yard

In June, online platform for interior design procurementStahlhof closedafter 24 years in business. According to company founder and CEO Shawn Hughes, the challenges of the COVID shutdown and supply chain have “added to the challenges we faced as an independent organization.

Steelyard announced an agreement with Sandow Design Group designed to provide a path forward for Steelyard’s 30,000-strong design community and brands. “They’re interested in taking care of the clientele,” Hughes said. “They have a similar platform on the contract and hospitality design side,BEGIN, and this opens the platform for more home designers. I’m confident that our designers and brands will be happy.”

NB Liebmann

Furniture retailer NB Liebman announced plans for this springclose the 100-year-old family business.The Pennsylvania-based company opened its first store in 1946 and at its peak operated 10 stores from Allentown to downtown Philadelphia and stretched to Baltimore, Md. and Cherry Hill, NJ. The company is currently in the midst of going out. off-business sales.

The closure of the long-established family business reflects current changes in the furniture industry, with smaller retailers increasingly challenged to keep up with the technological and logistical demands of a changing business.

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