Broyhill quietly makes layoffs in Lenoir

Mar. 06, 2014 @ 09:14 AM

Heritage Home Group told Broyhill Furniture employees of layoffs from its Lenoir operations on Monday, two employees told the News-Topic separately, but the company's management has not publicly announced it and did not return calls about it Wednesday.

The employees, who asked not to be named, gave different figures on the number of those laid off. The higher figure was 45; the other said 21 but said more layoffs were expected.

Heritage Home Group has not notified the N.C. Department of Commerce of any mass layoffs, but if a plant closing is not involved such notice would be required only if the number of employees being let go amounted to at least 50 employees and 33 percent of its employees.

Broyhill Furniture Industries became part of Heritage Home Group in November following the bankruptcy of former parent Furniture Brands International. KPS Capital Partners, a private-equity company that specializes in turning around failing manufacturers, bought Furniture Brands' assets in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and organized them under a new company, Heritage Home.

The company quickly parted ways with several top executives, and in January announced a new corporate and management structure. In a Jan. 20 letter to employees, CEO Ira Glazer described the changes as "the first phase" of the company's reorganization and warned that the changes would be difficult and would affect every employee in some way.

The company announced later in January closing that it will eliminate 564 jobs, 84 from the closing of its remaining Thomasville Furniture operations in Thomasville, and 480 from closing a Lane Furniture plant in Mississippi.