Furniture industry pain continues: Layoffs and turbulence hitting the market

HIGH POINT —As the furniture industry adjusts to the reality of declining demand and order…

HIGH POINT —As the furniture industry adjusts to the reality of declining demand and order cancellations, companies continue to actively manage bottom lines in order to stay the course. With the new normal of rising consumer debt, interest rate hikes and a slowdown in consumer spending on furniture, some companies are faring better than others.

Here’s a look at several companies riding in rough waters and shedding staff:

Article

Vancouver-based Article, the direct-to-consumer furniture retailer, laid off 17% of its employees, citing a downturn in the e-commerce marketplace and an operation size that wasn’t sustainable.

The company said 216 workers will be impacted by the staff reduction. Citing financial projections showing that Article was operating at a size larger than current demand would sustain. Company leadership pledged to resize the business to restore financial strength.

Bed Bath and Beyond

N.J.-based Bed Bath and Beyond has been beset with troubles for the past year and recently announced  that it will close 150 stores and slash 20% of its workforce in an effort to shore up its dwindling finances. This comes after the company released its plans for a turnaround, followed by the untimely death of its CFO.

Corsicana Mattress

Bedding manufacturer Corsicana Mattress Co. is slated to close its 370,000-square-foot Symbol Mattress factory in Oliva Branch, Miss., in October as part of its ongoing restructuring plan impacting 52 employees.

The factory became part of Corsicana’s manufacturing footprint in April 2021, as part of the Corsicana acquisition of Symbol. The company said production from the factory will be shifted to company factories in Corsicana, Texas; Shelbyville, Tenn.; and Bartow, Fla.

GXO Logistics

Supply chain and logistics giant GXO Logistics will shut down a distribution facility in Wisconsin in September, laying off 144 employees. Although GXO posted strong numbers in its most recent quarterly report, the company’s move to shut down its Wisconsin facility is a way to bring it’s logistics more in line by having warehousing operations closer to manufacturing.

La-Z-Boy

La-Z-Boy Inc. is finalizing the planned closure of its Newton, Miss., upholstery manufacturing facility, expected to be effective Sept. 16 and resulting in 180 workers being let go. The company previously announced that it would close the facility in June 2020 but reopened the facility in October 2020 due to stronger-than-expected demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Serta Simmons Bedding

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Serta Simmons Bedding’s corporate rating to Ca from Caa3 and said the outlook was negative for the bedding manufacturer based on $1.9 billion of debt it is facing next year and its declining cash reserves.

Earlier this year, the company laid off a total of approximately 284 employees at factories in Kansas, Iowa and Virginia.

Wayfair

In mid-August, Wayfair, the online home furnishings retailer announced plans to slash its global workforce by 870 employees, or 5% of its global workforce and 10% of its corporate team as part of cost-cutting measures. The company reported second quarter 2022 earnings, with net revenue of $3.3 billion, down 14.9% from the second quarter of 2021 and net loss for the quarter of $378 million compared with a gain of $131 million in the second quarter of 2021.

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