ST. LOUIS -- Furniture Brands International plans to develop an existing facility in Merida, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, to provide cut-and-sew kits for its U.S.-based upholstery operations.

The company anticipates that the operation will begin production in mid-2011 with an initial workforce of 150 to 200 people.

"Developing our own production assets in best-cost locations is a key to improving Furniture Brands' profitability and manufacturing flexibility," said Chairman and CEO Ralph Scozzafava. "The Merida facility allows us to capture the value of efficient manufacturing while improving our quality and delivery metrics. Our long-term supply chain strategy calls for increased use of facilities and suppliers that are dedicated to our business and our success." 

Furniture Brands' companies include: Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Pearson, Hickory Chair, Laneventure, and Maitland-Smith.

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