United, Lane cease operations permanently

TUPELO, Miss. — In a surprise and sudden development, United Furniture Industries announced it is closing its doors permanently, a move that will impact all its employees at United and subsidiary Lane Home Furnishings.

It was unclear how many employees the company has at present, but over the summer, following a reorganization of its warehousing and distribution operations, its global workforce totaled just over 2,700.

The company said the sudden move was due to unforeseen circumstances and was effective immediately Nov. 21. The move excludes over-the-road drivers who are out on delivery, who will be paid for the balance of the week.

Employees were told the layoffs were permanent and that all benefits are terminated immediately, without any extended health benefits afforded by COBRA.

“We regret that this difficult and unexpected situation has made this necessary,” the company said in its letter to employees obtained by Home News Now. “Additional information will be provided shortly.”

Attempts to reach Chief Executive Officer Todd Evans were unsuccessful on Tuesday morning.

This follows the company’s announcement this past summer that it was reorganizing its operations, closing a metal stamping plant in High Point and shifting its Winston-Salem upholstery manufacturing operations to a distribution center and its production facility in Armory, Mississippi, to a warehouse operation. Those moves reduced the global work force from 3,000 to just over 2,700 at the time.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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