• Thomas Russell

Higdon closes operations, sells inventory

Bedroom, entertainment furniture producer in Chapter 11

QUINCY, Fla. — After more than 60 years in business, promotional bedroom and home entertainment manufacturer Higdon Furniture Co. has closed and is selling off its inventory and other assets, court records show.

The closing and sale comes on the heels of the company's Dec. 16 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division. In that filing, the company listed as much as $50,000 in assets and liabilities ranging from $1 million to $10 million.

A separate appraiser's report dated Jan. 15 estimates the auction value of its manufacturing and lift equipment and furniture inventory at $523,850.

Among the creditors holding the 20 largest unsecured claims are Capital City Bank of Tallahassee ($2.7 million), Discovery World Furniture ($30,355) and Pennsylvania Lumbermans ($18,117). The filing also listed the Quincy, Fla., tax department, which was owed $16,084 in back taxes, as well as liens of $14,972 and $13,393 to Webtech Inc. and Toppan Interamerica, respectively.

Company President Joe Higdon was not immediately available for comment.

This is the second voluntary bankruptcy filing for Higdon since 2007 and its third since 1993. It emerged from the earlier proceedings, only to fall victim to ongoing challenges with its business again over the past few years.

The company, which celebrated its 60th year in business in 2013, was formed in 1953 by J. Warren Higdon, who established a millwork shop that made interior moldings for houses. It later evolved into the production of laminate bedrooms and home entertainment units.

Warren Higdon's son Joe Higdon joined the business in 1961, when it had about seven workers. It had more than 100 as of last summer. Joe Higdon also has had siblings in the business, including his brother Jack, who worked for the company until his death in 1980.

The company specialized in laminate bedroom production, selling largely to small retailers. It claimed to be one of the first to adopt innovations such as synthetic particleboard papers that mimic wood and painted finishes on dressers, chests and beds.

 

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday
trussell@furnituretoday.com

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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