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Hooker Furniture's HMI division to open $23.5 million Georgia distribution center

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HIGH POINT, N.C. Home Meridian International (HMI), a division of Hooker Furniture Corp., will consolidate its East Coast warehousing operations in a new 800,000-square-foot distribution facility in Liberty County, Georgia. The state-of-the-art distribution center, a $23.5 million investment,  is expected to be fully operational by fall 2021 and should add 50 new jobs to the area.

Brands under HMI's portfolio include Pulaski Furniture, Samuel Lawrence Furniture, Samuel Lawrence Hospitality, Prime Resources International, Accentrics Home, and HMIdea. In a statement, Hooker Furniture Corp. noted distribution out of the new facility will enable HMI to reach nearly all of the U.S. population within 36 hours, reducing transportation costs, and increasing operating efficiencies. Also noted was the location’s proximity to the Port of Savannah played a major role in the project, as the company is expected to import more than 8,000 cargo container units a year.

“We are pleased by the opportunity to better support our customers through consolidating our HMI inventory in this state-of-the-art, high-bay, 800,000-square-foot facility located near a major port,” said Paul B. Toms Jr., chairman and CEO of Hooker Furniture Corp. “As robust demand for products serviced out of our warehouses continues to increase, this will better position us to grow.”

“We’re excited to welcome this well-known, internationally respected brand to the Peach State,” said Governor George Kemp. “With our world-class ports, skilled workforce, and strong community support, I’m confident HMI will find success in establishing their new distribution center in Liberty County. I look forward to seeing the new opportunities this facility will create for hardworking Georgians in the region.”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development, Liberty County Development Authority, Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia Power and developer Safavieh assisted with the project.

With the consolidation, HMI will close multiple warehouses in the Madison-Mayodan area of North Carolina, some of them older facilities. “This will allow us to service our customers better by being in a more efficient, consolidated warehouse,” said Toms. “Demand for products in the portion of our business supported by warehouse inventory, including e-commerce, is robust, and this move puts in place the infrastructure to support future growth.”

Toms added the company is grateful to the approximately 60 employees who have staffed HMI’s warehouses in the Madison-Mayodan area for over 15 years, and “our intention is to offer continuing employment opportunities to these employees, either in Georgia or our Martinsville, Virginia facilities.”

HMI's West Coast distribution facility in Redlands, California, is not affected by the East Coast consolidation, the company said.

Headquartered in High Point, North Carolina, HMI is a global design and marketing company with brands that covers a wide spectrum of home furnishing categories: Pulaski Furniture, Samuel Lawrence Furniture, Samuel Lawrence Hospitality, Prime Resources International, Accentrics Home, and HMIdea. HMI is a division of Hooker Furniture Corp.

Founded in 1925 and headquartered in Martinsville, Virginia, Hooker Furniture Corp. (NASDAQ:HOFT) is a designer, marketer, and importer of wood and metal casegoods and leather and fabric upholstered furniture for the residential, hospitality, and contract markets. The company also operates U.S. production of custom leather and fabric-upholstered furniture. It is ranked 21 on the FDMC 300, a ranking of the largest North American wood products producers.

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