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Bradington-Young To Consolidate Operations In Hickory, N.C.

MARTINSVILLE, Va., Nov. 8, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hooker Furniture (Nasdaq:HOFT) will transfer the Cherryville, N.C. operations and corporate offices of its Bradington-Young leather upholstery division to Hickory, N.C., consolidating its domestic upholstery finished goods production at the company's Hickory plant.

"We expect that the consolidation of manufacturing operations to Hickory, Bradington-Young's newest and most efficient facility, will enhance long-term competitiveness and improve efficiencies," said Alan Cole, president of Hooker Upholstery. "The lagging recovery and the emergence of a more value conscious consumer require the most productive and efficient operating platform for every furniture company," he said. "Because of the greater efficiencies in our existing Hickory plant, the availability of highly skilled and productive labor in the area and the lower costs and fewer complexities of operating one finished goods manufacturing facility, we see this as a very positive move for Hooker and Bradington-Young. In the short-term, we expect the move will enable us to reduce redundancies and significantly lower our break-even point with the goal of achieving profitability at current sales levels. In the long-term, this can be a great launch pad for growth, as we expect a lot of good employees from Cherryville will move with us, and we believe we have the property to expand the Hickory facility as needed for the foreseeable future. While domestic leather sales at Bradington-Young declined from 2005 to 2009, sales increased at a double-digit rate over the last four quarters," Cole said.

"The majority of the 121 employees from the 140,000-square-foot Cherryville facility will be offered transfers to the consolidated Hickory facility," Cole said. The Hickory plant, built in 1990, is nearly 100,000 square feet and currently employs 75 workers. In addition, employees from Bradington-Young's Cherryville corporate offices will be offered transfers to an approximately 30,000 square foot office and support facility near the Hickory plant. "Some positions in Cherryville will be eliminated due to redundancy with the Hickory operation," Cole said.

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