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Seven La-Z-Boy galleries to close in Detroit area

Clint Engel, Staff Staff -- Furniture Today, December 15, 2008

Seven La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in this metro area are going out of business, right in the backyard of La-Z-Boy corporate, which is based in nearby Monroe, Mich.

The stores in Taylor, Sterling Heights, Auburn Hills, Canton, Flint, Ann Arbor and Novi, Mich. are part of La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries of Detroit. They will close after liquidation sales that began on Dec. 12, said Jerry Ellis, an attorney representing the licensee.

“The current state of Michigan's economy, declining consumer confidence, the postponable nature of discretionary furniture purchases — all of these things combine to work against you,” he said.

La-Z-Boy stores in Lansing and Grand Rapids, also part of the same licensed group led Paul Opfermann, will remain open, as will a store in Kalamazoo, Mich., which is not part of the group.

La-Z-Boy of Detroit hired SPCI to run the going-out-of-business sale, which is likely to continue until sometime in February, Ellis said.

In November, La-Z-Boy announced a cost-cutting initiative that included plans to close 15 to 20 primarily dealer-owned La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries over the next 90 to 120 days.

Kathy Liebmann, La-Z-Boy's director of investor relations, confirmed that the Detroit area stores are among those 15 to 20 units.

Asked about distribution in the Michigan market, where La-Z-Boy continues to sell through other furniture stores, she said, “We're sorting out our options and working through various issues during the GOB.”

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