Cherryville, NC -- Bradington-Young LLC, a division of Hooker Furniture Corporation announced today that it will lay off 54 employees in operations and administration at its plants in Cherryville and Hickory, NC.

The reduction of approximately 15% of Bradington-Young's workforce was necessary because of the prolonged economic slump in the furniture industry and the impact on sales of the company's leather upholstered seating and reclining furniture, according to Alan Cole, president and chief executive officer of Hooker's Upholstery Division. The layoff will affect 31employees in the Cherryville operations, and 23 employees in the Hickory plant.

"The extreme difficulty of the current economic environment has made it necessary to scale down our employment levels to match sales levels," said Cole. "The marketplace difficulties have taken a toll on our ability to staff at the levels we have historically needed," he said.

"While Hooker Furniture and its divisions are financially solid, we must take steps to remain financially sound in order to be a secure employer for our remaining employees," Cole added. "This decision is one that has been made with great disappointment. These are dedicated employees who will be great assets to companies who are seeking quality associates for their workforce." The affected employees will be offered severance packages based on their years of service. In addition, Bradington-Young is coordinating with the North Carolina Employment Security Commission to assist employees with placement assistance and will be applying to the Department of Labor for Trade Act Assistance.

The layoff does not affect employees at Hooker's wood furniture operations, based in Martinsville, Virginia, or at upholstered chair specialist Sam Moore in Bedford, Virginia.

Ranked among the nation's top 10 largest publicly traded furniture sources based on 2007 shipments to U.S. retailers, Hooker Furniture is an 84-year old residential wood, metal and upholstered furniture resource. Major wood furniture product categories include home entertainment, home office, accent, dining, bedroom and bath furniture sold under the Hooker Furniture brand, and youth bedroom furniture sold under the Opus Designs brand. Hooker's residential seating companies include Cherryville, N.C.-based Bradington-Young, a specialist in upscale motion and stationary leather furniture, and Bedford, Va.-based Sam Moore Furniture, a specialist in upscale occasional chairs with an emphasis on cover-to-frame customization.

Source: Hooker Furniture

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