La-Z-Boy Working on Recovery

A tornado that spun off Hurricane Rita that struck La-Z-Boy's Plant 21 in Newton, Miss., on Sept. 24 temporarily shut down the wood-cutting part of the operation.

At the time, company officials did not even know if the building could be saved. As it turns out, La-Z-Boy spokesman, treasurer Mark Stegeman, says it can and work resumed in part of the structure just a few days after the storm.

"I have to give a tremendous amount of credit to our team in Newton and our risk management office in Monroe (Michigan). They did a tremendous job reacting to the crisis. Our other plants and our vendors did a tremendous job in getting us back up and running, and it has not had a severe impact to us at all," Stegeman said.

But another problem has surfaced for the furniture and upholstery industry as a whole, a short supply of TDI, a key component in polyurethane foam, used in making sofas and recliners.

Stegeman says that may cause employee work schedules to be altered.

"Apparently from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, they have had an interruption of supply. Time frame that we understand is a short period of time, but it could be the end of the calendar year," said Stegeman.

Because of these factors, La-Z-Boy as a company is reporting its sales and earnings for the second quarter are likely to fall below estimates, but Stegeman says La-Z-Boy will continue weathering the storm.


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