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DOC Initiates Review of Chinese Wood Bedroom Furniture

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 By Powell Slaughter

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Tuesday that it is initiating an administrative review of antidumping duties covering 107 Chinese manufacturers of wood bedroom furniture.

The department had received requests for reviews of 137 manufacturers in January, but 30 of those companies subsequently withdrew their request. The DOC intends to issue final results of the review no later than Jan. 31, 2007. The review will examine shipments from June 24, 2004, through Dec. 31, 2005.

According to a listing in the Federal Register, the companies and their affiliates

subject to review include:

Art Heritage International, Super Art Furniture Co., Artwork Metal & Plastic Co., Jibson Industries, Always Loyal International;

Baigou Crafts Factory of Fengkai;

Best King International Limited, Best King International, Bouvrie International Limited;

Birchfield Design Group, Birchfield Design (Asia), Dongguan Birchfield Gifts Co., Dongguan Longreen Birchfield Arts & Craft Co.;

Chiu's Faithful Furniture (Shenzhen) Co. Limited, Faithful International Trading (Hong Kong) Co. Limited;

Conghua J.L. George Timber & Co.;

Dalian Guangming Furniture Co.;

Dalian Huafeng Furniture Co.;

Dalian Pretty Home Furniture Co.;

Dawn Smart Furniture Co.;

Decca Furniture Limited and other affiliates of Decca Holdings Limited;

Deqing Ace Furniture & Crafts Limited;

Der Cheng Furniture Co.;

Dong Guan Hua Ban Furniture Co.;

Dongguan Cambridge Furniture Co., Glory Oceanic Co.;

Dongguan Dihao Furniture Co.;

Dongguan Landmark Furniture Products;

Dongguan Lung Dong Furniture Co., Dongguan Dong He Furniture Co., Engmost Investment;

Dongguan Mingsheng Furniture Co.;

Dongguan New Technology Import & Export Co.;

Dongguan Sea Eagle Furniture Co., Kalanter (Hong Kong) Furniture Co.;

Dongguan Sunpower Enterprise Co.;

Dongguan Sunrise Furniture Co., Taicang Sunrise Wood Industry Co., Shanghai Sunrise Furniture Co., Fairmont Designs;

Dongguan Yihaiwei Furniture Limited;

Dream Rooms Furniture (Shanghai) Co.;

Ever Spring Furniture Co., S.Y.C. Family;

Fine Furniture (Shanghai) Limited and its affiliates;

Foshan Guanqiu Furniture Co.;

Fujian Lianfu Forestry Co., Fujian Wonder Pacific Inc., Fuzhou Huan Mei Furniture Co., Jiangsu Dare Furniture Co.;

Fujian Senda Foreign Trade Co.;

Fuzhou Huan Mei Furniture Co.;

Gaomi Yatai Wooden Ware Co., Team Prospect International;

Guangdong New Four Seas Furniture Manufacturing, Four Seas Furniture Manufacturing;

Guangzhou Lucky Furniture Co.;

Guangzhou Maria Yee Furnishings, Pyla HK, Maria Yee, Inc.;

Hainan Rulai Furniture Co.;

Honest Furniture Co.;

Hong Yu Furniture (Shenzhen);

Huizhou Jadom Furniture Co., Jadom Furniture Co.,

Hung Fai Wood Products Factory;

Hwangho New Century Furniture (Dongguan) Corp., Trade Rich Furniture (Dongguan) Corp., Hwang Ho

International Holdings Limited;

Inni Furniture;

Jiangmen Kinwai Furniture Decoration Co., Jiangmen Kinwai International Furniture Co.;

King Kei Trading Co., King Kei Furniture Factory, Jiu Ching Trading Co.;

King Wood Furniture Co.;

Kong Fong Furniture;

Kong Fong Mao Iek Hong;

Kunwa Enterprises Co.;

Lacquer Craft Mfg. Co., Samson Holding, Samson International Enterprises, Legacy Classic Furniture, Universal

Furniture International Inc.;

Langfang TianCheng Furniture, Huari Furniture;

Leefu Wood (Dongguan) Co., King Rich International;

Locke Furniture Factory, Kai Chan Furniture Co., Kai Chan (Hong Kong) Enterprise, Taiwan Kai Chan;

Maestro Wood Product Factory;

Mandarin Furniture (Shenzhen) Co.;

Meikangchi (Nantong) Furniture Co.;

Million Kind Co., , Million Kind Furniture Co.;

NanTong YangZi Furniture Co.;

Nathan International, Nathan Rattan Factory, Nathan China Group;

Ngai Kun Trading;

Ningbo Furniture Industries, Ningbo Fubang Furniture Industries Limited, Techniwood Industries Limited,

Techniwood (Macao Commercial Offshore) Limited, Ningbo Techniwood Furniture Industries Limited;

Placetech Co.;

Po Ying Industrial Co.;

Profit Force Limited;

Protrend Metal & Plastics (Shenzhen) Co.;

Putian Ou Dian Furniture Co.;

Qingdao Beiyuan-Shengli Furniture Co., Qingdao Beiyuan Industry Trading Co.;

Qingdao Shengchang Wooden Co.;

RiZhao SanMu Woodworking Co., RiZhao SanMu Woodworking Group.;

Rui Feng Woodwork (Dongguan) Co., Rui Feng Lumber Development (Shenzhen) Co.;

Senyuan Furniture Group;

Shanghai Aosen Furniture Co.;

Shenyang Kunyu Wood Industry Co.;

Shenzhen Dafuhao Industrial Development Co.;

Shenzhen Shen Long Hang Industry Co.;

Shenzhen Tiancheng Furniture Co., Winbuild Industrial, Red Apple Furniture Co., Red Apple Trading Co.;

Sino Concord (Zhangzhou) Furniture Co., Sino Concord International Corp.;

Speedy International;

Starcorp Furniture (Shanghai) Co., Shanghai Starcorp Furniture Co., Orin;

Sunforce Furniture (Hui-Yang) Co., SunFung Wooden Factory, Sun Fung Co., Shin Feng Furniture Co., Stupendous International Co.;

T.J. Maxx International Co.;

Tianjin First Wood Co.;

Tianjin Sande Fairwood Furniture Co.;

Time Crown (U.K.) International, China United International Co.;

Top Art Furniture;

Top Goal Development Co., Top Goal Furniture Co., (Shenzhen);

Tradewinds Furniture, Fortune Glory Industrial (HK) Nanhai Jiantai Woodwork Co.;

Transworld (Zhangzhou) Furniture Co.;

Trendex Industries, Trendex Industries, (BVI), Dongguan Chunsan Wood Products Co.; Kunshan Junsen Furniture Co.;

Triple J Enterprises Co.;

Triple J Furniture (Shenzhen) Co.;

Wan Bao Cheng Group Hong Kong Co.;

Wanhengton Nueevder (Furniture) Manufacture Co., Dongguan Wanhengton Industry Co.;

WBE Industries (Hui-Yang) Co.;

Winmost Enterprises Limited;

Winny Universal;

Xilinmen Group Co.;

Yihua Timber Industries Co., New Classic Home Furnishings, Inc.;

Yixinglong Furniture Co.;

Yongxin Industrial (Holdings) Limited;

Zhejiang Niannianhong Industrial Co.;

Zhongshan Fine Furniture;

Zhongshan Gainwell Furniture Co.;

Zhongshan Golden King Furniture Industrial Co., King Group Furniture;

Zhongshan Winly Furniture;

Zhongshan Winny Furniture;

Zhongshan Youcheng Wooden Arts & Crafts Co.

DOC will not be able to investigate each company in full, so it is considering taking a sample of manufacturers for extensive review. Those companies will receive their own duty rates, which will be used to create a rate to cover other companies, such as was done with the Section A rate computed from the seven companies audited in the original investigation two years ago.

Due to the large number of firms requesting an administrative review in this proceeding, DOC is requiring all firms listed above that wish to qualify for separate-rate status in this administrative review to complete, as appropriate, either a separate-rate status application or certification, as described below (See separate story). If DOC determines to select the mandatory respondents through sampling in this administrative review, it will require all potential respondents to demonstrate their eligibility for a separate rate.

Separate-rate status applications are due to DOC no later than April 18.

DOC Commences New Shipper Reviews of Three Chinese Producers

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 In addition to initiating an administrative review of Chinese manufacturers of wood bedroom furniture for possible new or eliminated duty rates, the U.S. Department of Commerce also will review another three companies who weren't shipping subject merchandise to the U.S. market during the time frame of the original antidumping investigation.

The DOC will examine the operations of Huanghouse, Senyuan and First Wood for the period of June 24, 2004, through Dec. 31, 2005.

In addition to the certifying that they hadn't shipped wood bedroom furniture to the United States during the original investigation period, the companies also submitted documentation establishing the date on which they first shipped wood bedroom furniture for export to the U.S. market; the volume of their first shipment and the volume of subsequent shipments (if applicable); and the date of their first sale to an unaffiliated customer in the United States.

The department already is reviewing new shippers Kunyu, Dongguan Landmark Furniture, Meikangchi and Hui-Yang. A ruling is expected on those companies by June 26.

Jennifer Convertibles Must Meet Listing Requirements

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 The American Stock Exchange has approved Woodbury, N.Y.-based Jennifer Convertibles' plan to meet listing requirements and gave the retailer until July 5, 2007 to comply.

Jennifer Convertibles submitted its plan in response to a Jan. 5 letter from the American Stock Exchange saying the retailer faced delisting for not meeting the $4 million minimum shareholder equity requirement.

The company said that as of Nov. 26, it had only $81,000 in shareholder equity. The retailer said that over the last nine months it has generated $4.8 million in profits and expects "continued profitability."

Jennifer Convertibles operates a 177-store chain of sofa-sleeper stores and 16 Jennifer Leather stores.

Natuzzi Closing Eight United Kingdom Stores

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 Leather producer Natuzzi has decided to close eight of its stores in the United Kingdom by the end of this month.

The stores operate under the Natuzzi and KOL brand names. The company has opted to relocate six company-owned Natuzzi stores in the London area in the next two years.

According to the company, the new stores will feature smaller floor space in a boutique-like atmosphere and will be located in more fashionable shopping areas. In addition, the company will offer the store concept to its retail partners through franchise agreements in an effort to develop its business in the United Kingdom.

Since 1990, Natuzzi has sold its furnishings in Italy through the popular Divani & Divani by Natuzzi chain of 136 stores, which it licenses to furniture dealers. Outside Italy, the company sells to various furniture retailers, as well as through 154 licensed Divani & Divani by Natuzzi and Natuzzi stores, including six Kingdom of Leather stores.

In the United States, Natuzzi has a flagship store in New York's SoHo district and a franchised store in Dallas.

Linwood to Supply Timberlake Goods to Lexington

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 By Powell Slaughter

Lexington Home Brands has lined up domestic production for the original The World of Bob Timberlake case goods through Linwood Furniture, a new company in a familiar location.

The announcement was made Monday afternoon.

On March 1, Linwood acquired Lexington's former Plant Number Two, just south of Lexington, N.C., where it will produce the Timberlake goods. The company plans to immediately hire around 50 workers. The city of Lexington and Davidson County are supporting the effort with an economic incentive package, and Linwood will invest more than $5 million in capital and machinery.

The move keeps the manufacturing of Timberlake's core line in the North Carolina artist's hometown, and while the brand now includes goods made overseas, he's always insisted that his original The World of Bob Timberlake remain domestically made. Now, production will continue in a plant already experienced in producing the line.

"In my mind, there is no comparison to the high quality and craftsmanship of the American worker," Timberlake said. "If there was ever a product that deserved to be produced here in America, The World of Bob Timberlake certainly qualifies. I am so proud and pleased that this situation worked out well for all concerned. This is a dream come true for me and our community."

Linwood Furniture emerged from the longtime friendship between Timberlake and Jim Kepley, owner of lumber supplier Kepley-Frank Hardwoods. After LHB announced the closing of Plant Two last October, the company's last domestic case goods factory, Kepley approached Lexington about purchasing the facility for expansion of his lumber-drying operation. Those negotiations led to a discussion of the possibility of Kepley's company manufacturing The World of Bob Timberlake furniture line. Kepley's subsequent consultation with Timberlake led to the formation of Linwood Furniture Inc.

"This partnership and opportunity just seemed natural to me," said Kepley. "We formed Linwood because my family and company have a history with the furniture industry in Lexington, just as Bob and his family do. With the support of Lexington Home Brands, our new partnership gives all three of us a chance to continue this area's heritage while providing jobs for many skilled workers in our community."

"It is not very often in your career you get to see passion, commitment and values come together in one place," said Bob Stec, chairman and CEO of LHB.

Kepley's and Timberlake's collaboration, "is an opportunity to take ideas, passion and excellence and apply them in a way that competes in a global economy," Stec said.

In addition to some 50 immediate hires, Linwood anticipates adding as many as 200 workers in the next 18 months to operate the plant. The 550,000-square-foot factory, which closed Dec. 10, produced $60 million wholesale of furniture annually when it was operating at full capacity under Lexington's ownership.

While Stec said production is expected to ramp up in about 30 days, Kepley said the plant would be operational on Tuesday, with 27 people initially staffed for lumber cutting.

Jerry Epperson, industry analyst and managing director with Mann, Armistead & Epperson, said Timberlake's dedication to maintaining his namesake line's domestic component is a rarity in furniture.

"It takes someone with conviction and an appreciation for heritage to do what Timberlake has," Epperson said in a statement issued Monday. "Very few people take a stand like he has. He feels very strongly about his community, and it adds to my respect for Bob. I wish there were more of him out there. He is a very singular individual."

Timberlake said his original furniture collection was born of American craftsmanship and deserves to continue to be manufactured by American workers.

"I am excited and honored to be working with Kepley-Frank Hardwood Co. and Lexington Home Brands to continue the legacy of Plant Number Two here in Lexington," he said. "This is not only important for our community but also means a great deal personally to my family. My family has been in the furniture business here in Lexington for generations. This is home. This is our history."

The speakers at Monday's press conference noted that Linwood Furniture already has a leg up in terms of efficiency. As Lexington Home Brand's last domestic case goods plant, the Linwood facility received the best equipment and workers from other LHB plants as domestic production consolidated.

"We don't have to work on retooling, and we don't have to work on relearning the finishes," Timberlake said. "These are folks we're hiring who know what we want to do."

Kepley noted that Linwood Furniture is a vertically-integrated operation.

"I'm a supplier of hardwood lumber," Kepley said. "So we have a timber company and we have a factory and we have the person whose thoughts and designs are behind the product. And through (Lexington) Home Brands, we also have the marketer."

In addition to serving as the exclusive domestic source for LHB's World of Bob Timberlake line, Linwood Furniture also will provide contract manufacturing for other furniture companies.