You know the quaint, Norman Rockwell-esque newspaper cartoon of the closed storefront door, hung with a cockeyed, handwritten note reading "Closed -- Gone Fishin'?" Ever wonder what lay behind that door?
Apparently, it's the whole darn U.S. furniture industry.
Last week, Furniture Brands
From a "buy American" perspective, this looks like unqualified bad news -- more low-cost foreign competition taking its toll on U.S. jobs. From an investor perspective, it's not much better; Furniture Brands anticipates that asset impairment and restructuring costs, plus payment of severance benefits to the laid-off employees, will total about $2 million, and reduce Q1 2007 profits by $0.04 per share.
For context, Broyhill's announcement mirrors those of a whole slew of furniture makers, most notably Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation Hooker Furniture
In related news
But Broyhill's not the only firm to announce production cutbacks; what's more, it's not even the latest. That title belongs (temporarily, until the next shoe drops) to yet another Hidden Gems recommendation: Stanley Furniture
My take on all this bad news: Tell me again, Wall Street, how the slowdown in the housing industry isn't going to hurt the broader economy? I'm all ears.
We've followed this trend most closely in relation to our Hooker recommendation. Read how it's faring in:
Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above.