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Lane's Saltillo, Miss., upholstery plant to close

Move will affect 480 employees

ST. LOUIS — Heritage Home Group will close the Lane upholstery plant in Saltillo, Miss. by March 21, a move that will affect 480 workers.

Gloria Neal, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, told Furniture/Today her office was notified by Heritage Home Group of the closure.

Heritage Home Group confirmed to Furniture/Today that the facility will close, but also offered no further details.

A letter from Heritage Home Group obtained by the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal said "business circumstances will force us to close" the Saltillo plant. "This closure is expected to be permanent; no employees will be retained at the plant."

The closing is the second announced this week by Heritage Home Group. The company also notified the North Carolina Department of Commerce it will close its Thomasville, N.C., Plant C and related operations by March 21. This closing will affect 84 workers.

The 830,200-square-foot Saltillo plant and accompanying distribution center is a company-owned facility. The company also owns a 715,951-square-foot Lane upholstery plant and distribution center in nearby Tupelo, Miss. as well as a 423,392-square-foot distribution center in Verona, Miss.

It was unclear how many people the company still employs at these operations.

Heritage Home's parent company, KPS Capital Partners acquired the facilities as part of a November bankruptcy court-approved purchase of Furniture Brands International assets including Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Lane Venture, LaBarge, Maitland-Smith Pearson and Hickory Chair.

Furniture Brands filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sept. 9, following six straight years of declines in sales and profits.

KPS renamed the group Heritage Home and immediate discharged several Furniture Brands executives including Ralph Scozzafava, chairman and CEO; Dan Masters, president of Lane; Jay Reardon, president of Hickory Chair, and Vance Johnston, chief financial officer. It has replaced the presidents of these divisions with merchandising and sales executives responsible for various brands.

The company released a letter to employees on Monday saying this was the first phase of a reorganization effort that would result in some layoffs. The company did not say how many people in the organization would be let go, but said that this was a necessary part of making its efforts to create a "highly competitive organizational structure."

Business Editor Larry Thomas contributed to this report.

 

 

 

 

 

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