PeopLoungers closing for good?

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Published: June 9,2009

MANTACHIE — The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported June 9 that a little more than a year after emerging from bankruptcy protection with a new owner, motion upholstery maker PeopLoungers is closing for good.

Sources said the furniture maker, which was founded 30 years ago in Tupelo, was expected to close its Mantachie production plant June 10.

But as of June 8, Itawamba County Development Council executive director Greg Deakle had not heard anything. And the Mississippi Department of Employment Security said it had not yet received any notice of a closure.

According to Deakle, the Mantachie plant, which had merged operations with the company’s Nettleton facility, employs 100 to 150 workers.

At its peak in 2004, PeopLoungers employed approximately 800 people and generated roughly $90 million in sales. When it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2007, the company owed more than $5.7 million to its 20 largest unsecured creditors.

PeopLoungers had already closed its 430,000-square-foot Nettleton plant, consolidating operations into its 175,000-square-foot Mantachie facility. Administrative offices were moved into its showroom at the Tupelo Furniture Market (TFM).

There, TFM president Bill Cleveland confirmed that a company representative said that PeopLoungers was planning to shutter its Mantachie plant June 10, while a “skeleton crew” would remain at the TFM location to wind down operations.

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