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American Signature lays off some employees

Furniture retailer cites difficult business conditions
COLUMBUS, Ohio — American Signature here has confirmed it is laying off employees at its home office here and other locations, citing difficult business conditions.

"The housing crisis continues to affect the furniture business countrywide," the company said in a statement. American Signature/Value City Furniture "has tried to maintain current staffing levels but difficult adjustments were needed in order to put the company in a position to succeed, moving forward."

The company didn't indentify the people or positions being cut, saying only that, "A number of layoffs will be made at our home office and company locations throughout 19 states," and that all affected associates will be provided help and support during the transition.

Michael Broidy, vice president of corporate affairs, who sent the statement late Thursday, declined to comment.

Industry sources familiar with the cuts have estimated anywhere from 35 to 55 employees already were let go at the home office, including key people in sourcing, merchandising and information technology.

Art Lanciers, who has been vice president of merchandising and is believed to have left, was reached by telephone and declined to comment.

American Signature is No. 6 on Furniture/Today's most recent Top 100 with estimated furniture, bedding and accessories sales of $964.8 million in its fiscal year ended Aug. 1, 2009. Late last year the retailer made headlines when it introduced Dream Big youth areas in its stores featuring four new licensed groups: Miss America Youth Collection, Home Court by LeBron James, Little League and Spiderman.

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