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World Imports apparently shutting down

Heath E. Combs, Carole Sloan -- Furniture Today, October 21, 2013

HIGH POINT — Upholstery and case goods supplier World Imports, which filed for Chapter 11 on July 3, has apparently shut down and isn't showing at the High Point Market this week.

World Imports has declined on several occasions to respond to recent reports that it was shutting down. However, the company has been distributing inventory liquidation information since at least the beginning of October, according to documents obtained by Furniture/Today that contain lists of the liquidation items.

An e-mail sent to retailers by representatives of the company said World Imports is liquidating its domestic business and is closing as a wholesale supplier. It says the company will have inventory through November but will be closed in December.

The e-mail says World Imports might remain open as a direct container source.

It blames the closure on retroactive antidumping duties on product from China that will end up costing the company $5 million to $10 million.

In World Imports bankruptcy documents, it also listed problems stemming from the acquisition and sale of inventory from Hamilton Spill's assets in 2011, payment of a $700,000 antidumping tariff in 2011, an inventory theft ring that cost it a reported $177,000 in the last two years, and troubles with the implementation of a new enterprise resource planning system that caused product over-ordering.

World Imports was founded in 1986 by Stan and Sandra Luber. Its current president is Marc Luber. The company had a Philadelphia operations facility, a warehouse in Walls, Miss. and a warehouse facility in Chicago.

While court documents said World Imports South, started in 2009, was profitable since its inception, the Chicago warehouse opened in 2011 - meant to gain the company more of a national presence - operated at a loss.


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