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DeCoro USA winds down operations

Closes U.S. sales and marketing office

HIGH POINT — DeCoro, the leather upholstery producer that suddenly shut down its Chinese factories in January, has closed its U.S. sales and marketing office here as it winds down operations.

Heath Corso, executive vice president of DeCoro USA, said only one employee — an accountant — remains on the payroll, and said virtually all the company's office equipment, showroom samples and other assets have been liquidated.

"The closure of DeCoro's factory is a tragedy. I deeply regret the impact on many people at the factory, in our U.S. operation, at our dealers and among their retail customers, Corso said.

"Our U.S. company has made every effort to maximize return to creditors, and our attorneys will continue to oversee the wind down of operations with this goal in mind."

Hong Kong-based DeCoro shut down its two factories in Shenzhen, China, without warning in January, and CEO Luca Ricci reportedly fled the country.

The district government in Shenzhen later paid the equivalent of $1.46 million in back wages to about 2,000 former employees.

With the launch of DeCoro in 1997, Ricci pioneered the production of leather upholstery in China. At its peak in 2006, the company had worldwide sales of more than $300 million.

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