December 4, 2023

Jul. 21—TRIAD — Real estate owned by United Furniture Industries, including in High Point and Trinity, will be sold next week at a bankruptcy auction.

United Furniture filed for bankruptcy protection in January, citing debts of more than $100 million, a little more than a month after it laid off all 2,700 of its employees without warning.

The bankruptcy auction Tuesday and Wednesday by real estate adviser B. Riley Real Estate will take place at the law offices of Glankler Brown in Memphis and will involve 15 properties, 11 in Mississippi. Four are in the Piedmont Triad:

—315-325 Kettering Road, High Point.

—3761 Old Glenola Road, Trinity.

—100 United Furniture Drive, Lexington.

—401 W. Hanes Mill Road, Winston-Salem.

Phoenix Acquisition LLC, a company that specializes in repurposing industrial sites, has made the stalking horse bid of $65 million for all of the properties, which total 626 acres with nearly 5 million square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and distribution space. Other bids, for all or just some of the properties, could win if the overall winning bids exceed Phoenix’s bid. Winning bids are to be announced at the conclusion of the auction.

The sales are expected to close in late August. In addition to selling the real estate it owned, United Furniture has hired a joint venture formed by Capital Partners LLC and Hilco Global to sell off its inventory and most of its other assets.

United Furniture has filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to terminate its leases on other properties and abandon its property left in those buildings, including at 5252 Glenola Industrial Drive, High Point, and a property leased from Klaussner Furniture on Lewallen Road, Asheboro.

In July 2022, the company announced it was closing its 315 Kettering Road facility in High Point, which did business as Royal Development Metal Stamping, and laying off 72 people. It also laid off 199 manufacturing employees at its 401 Hanes Mill Road plant in Winston-Salem and converted that facility to an East Coast distribution center.

Those moves came a month after it fired its three top executives and restructured its sales operations.

Shortly before midnight the day before Thanksgiving, all employees were sent an email telling them not to report to work, and about an hour later they were sent another announcing that all employees were being fired, citing “unforeseen business circumstances.”

United Furniture, which had become one of the largest furniture companies in the country, did not file a notice with any state where it operated that it planned any mass layoffs, as required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. A number of lawsuits by former employees are pending in federal court.

United purchased the Lane brand in 2017 from High Point-based Heritage Home Group.


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