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Made in USA furniture takes a hit.

The Made-in-America furniture movement suffered a setback last month when Heritage Home Group announced it would close two Thomasville factories and a Lane factory effective March 21, putting more than 560 people out of work.

The closings are part of an ongoing restructuring that began immediately after KPS Capital Partners purchased the assets of Furniture Brands out of bankruptcy last September. The first order of business was renaming the company that also includes Broyhill, Henredon, Drexel Heritage and other well-known brands, Heritage Home Group.

Considering how far Furniture Brands fell, including getting kicked off the NY Stock Exchange before filing for Chapter 11, difficult decisions had to be made by the new owners, including plant closings and layoffs.

A silver lining in the dark-black cloud known as the Great Recession was that American consumers were buying more products Made in America. Stanley Furniture's decision to bring production of its youth furniture back from China and Ashley Furniture's plans to build the world's largest furniture manufacturing and distribution complex in North Carolina were welcomed by many as signs that U.S. wood furniture manufacturers were making a comeback.

But not everything has gone well. Lincolnton Furniture, which became a media darling of "Made in America," closed down without warning at the start of last year. 2013 also saw the demise of Lin- wood Furniture, which operated an 800,000-square-foot facility and Craw- ford Mfg., est. 1893 of Jamestown, NY.

The year is still young and brimming with potential. Will someone please announce a major furniture plant expansion or startup?

A silver lining of the Great Recession was that consumers were buying more products Made in America.

RICH CHRISTIANSON

EDITOR-AT-LARGE

rchristianson@vancepublishing.com

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Title Annotation:NEWS & VIEWS
Comment:Made in USA furniture takes a hit.(NEWS & VIEWS)
Author:Christianson, Rich
Publication:Wood Products
Date:Feb 1, 2014
Words:281
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