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FBI closing eight stores

Furniture Brands International said last week it will close eight company-owned stores — four Broyhill and four Lane units, all in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

They include stores in O'Fallon, Manchester and Brentwood, Mo., and O'Fallon, Ill. Great American Group is managing the closing sales, which are expected to conclude by the end of the year.

Ralph Scozzafava, vice-chairman and CEO designate of St. Louis-based Furniture Brands, said the closings are part of the company's strategic plan to focus on its Thomasville and Drexel Heritage brands for its dedicated store network.

"Broyhill and Lane, on the other hand, will focus (on) distribution in traditional furniture retailers and mass merchants," he said.

He said the Thomasville and Drexel Heritage stores in St. Louis will continue operating, and that consumers will still be able to shop local independent dealers for the Broyhill and Lane brands.

Pending orders from the closing stores will be honored and will be serviced from the stores, or from local retailers and Broyhill and Lane central offices after the closings.

The move will eliminate 83 jobs, including store positions and some at warehouse facilities and the Furniture Brands retail offices in St. Louis.

Other company-owned stores are likely to be closed under the strategic plan, primarily Lane and Broyhill stores, although FBI has not announced any beyond the St. Louis group. Dealer-owned stores are not affected, a company spokesman said.

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