APPOMATTOX, VA

- Ashley Furniture Industries' managers toured Thomasville Furniture's Appomattox, VA, plant in late November, reports the Lynchburg, VA News & Advance.

Furniture Brands International announced last month its intention to close the Thomasville 200-worker ready-to-assemble furniture operation in March 2011, and move production to North Carolina, as well as overseas.

Ron Wanek, the chairman of Arcadia, WI-based Ashley Furniture told the paper that the Appomattox site is one of several his company is looking at in Virginia and the Carolinas for a new East Coast manufacturing and distribution facility. Wanek said the new plan would create about 1,000 new jobs, and that the investment reflects a more favorable manufacturing environment in the United States.

Privately-held Ashley Furniture has over 3 million square feet of operations and warehouses, with manufacturing plants in Arcadia, Whitehall, PA, Colton, CA, Ecru, MS, Leesport, PA. Founded in 1945, The Ashley Companies now has three separate operating divisions: Ashley Casegoods, Ashley Upholstery and Millennium.

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