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UPDATE: Home Line to cut costs, skip High Point Market

Container issues limiting supply, says president

Heath E. Combs, Staff Staff -- Furniture Today, March 29, 2011

HIGH POINT — Case goods and upholstery importer and manufacturer Home Line Inds. will not show at the High Point Market this week as it works through container issues and reduces its overhead costs, according to company President Bret Vernekoff.

He said the company is reorganizing. He said Home Line over-ordered product and is facing issues that are keeping its containers from being released at port, limiting its supply and resulting in a glut of back orders.

"Basically we got jammed up at the ports over the past few months and it really affected us. We want to get ourselves back to a nice comfortable level and take care of our issues so we don't have to worry about it carrying on too much longer," Vernekoff said.

"This company's been around a long time and it's just kind of hitting a spot here where we were probably growing a little bit too fast and now we're drawing down the business a little bit and downsizing.... But the reality of business is sometimes you have to make those decisions."

While the company is still in discussions with its freight forwarder, it has not worked out a definitive solution to the container issue, he said.

He confirmed that the company sent out a memo last week saying it would not show in High Point. The memo indicated that Home Line has an issue with its freight forwarder.

While an employee at the company's Philadelphia headquarters said earlier this week that the company was shipping on a cash-on-delivery basis, Vernekoff said Home Line is not 100% COD at this point.

He said the company is likely to return to the High Point Market at a later date. He added that it has no plans for further management changes and will focus on lowering overhead costs.

It plans to continue operating the Asheboro, N.C. upholstery manufacturing facility as usual, he added.

In January, company officials confirmed they had eliminated the positions of three top executives.

Home Line, which is more than four decades old, has distribution centers in Philadelphia, Chicago and High Point.

According to a Tuesday press release, Home Line said turned over day-to-day management, administration and associated legal contractual obligations of its web partner program for brick-and-mortar stores to FurnitureDealer.net, a behind the scenes collaborator on the program.

The release from FurnitureDealer, said Home Line was turning over administration of the program to help it focus on its core business.

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