September 10 is a day that will go down in Woodworking Network infamy. It was the first day WWN issued not one, but two breaking news alerts.

The subjects: Furniture Brands International, the largest publicly held furniture company, filed for Chapter 11 and Cardell Cabinetry, one of the Southwest’s largest cabinet manufacturers, shut down with no warning to the vast majority of its 903 workers.

The results: Sept. 10, led by the Cardell Cabinetry story in particular, smashed Woodworking Network page view records. Of the more than 15,000 page views recorded that day, about 30% were generated by the Cardell story and nearly another 10% by the FBI bankruptcy news.

Wood Products Editor Karen Koenig’s breaking news report on Cardell passed 10,000 page views within two weeks of being posted. The cabinet firm’s closing had been eerily foreshadowed in another report posted by Karen in August that Cardell had been hit for more than $267,000 in proposed fines by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 29 health and safety violations, including for combustible dust accumulations.

The Furniture Brands International (FBI) breaking news report filed by WWN Editorial Director Bill Esler culminated a series of reports throughout the year documenting FBI’s financial struggles. FBI, parent of Thomasville, Broyhill, Drexel-Heritage, Lane and other venerable names of the residential furniture industry, was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in August. The delisting came on the heels of two warnings by the NYSE that FBI act swiftly to bolster its plummeting stock value.

Neither of these stories is close to playing out. Cardell faces a potential class action suit for allegedly violating the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act). It also remains unclear what will become of its manufacturing compound in San Antonio, TX, and how its debts will be settled with its myriad suppliers.

FBI is the target for a potential buyout as it attempts to shield itself from creditors through its Chapter 11 filing. The company is the subject of a class action lawsuit contemplated on behalf of shareholders. Look to WWN to keep you tuned in.

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