ROANOKE TIMES Copyright (c) 1997, Roanoke Times DATE: Wednesday, January 29, 1997 TAG: 9701290089 SECTION: BUSINESS PAGE: B-6 EDITION: METRO SOURCE: MEGAN SCHNABEL STAFF WRITER
The Singer Co., which last year shut its Roanoke manufacturing plant, is getting out of the U.S. furniture business.
The announcement, made late last week by the parent of High Point, N.C.-based Singer Furniture Co., follows last summer's layoff of 300 in Roanoke. In December, the company said its Lenoir, N.C., plant would be closed by late March, and all operations would be consolidated at the company's Chocowinity, N.C., facility. The Chocowinity factory now is scheduled to close as well.
Singer Furniture officials are expected to meet today to discuss a possible management buyout of the Lenoir and Chocowinity plants, which produce bedroom and dining room furniture and employ 1,000. If the buyout is successful, the plants would stay open, said Craig Shoemaker, Singer Furniture president and a member of the buyout team.
The future of the 40 administrative jobs that remained in Roanoke when the manufacturing plant closed is uncertain, Singer spokesman William Foster said. The company had planned to move those positions to North Carolina by the end of this month.
The Singer Co. originally bought Johnson-Carper Furniture Co. of Roanoke in 1969 and changed its name to Singer Furniture. The company had its headquarters in Roanoke until 1994, when then-president Dennis Ammons moved to High Point. Singer Corp., a sewing machine and home appliance company, is owned by Semi-Tech Global Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong.
New York-based Singer announced Friday it lost $20 million during the fourth quarter of 1996 and attributed $16.5 million of that to its furniture division.
- Landmark News Service contributed to this report.
LENGTH: Short : 40 lines KEYWORDS: JOBCHEKby CNB