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Trendlines Inc. plant closing

December 12, 1997

By GUY FLETCHER

Staff Writer

A Washington County manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture is shutting down, putting about 100 employees out of work, a company official said Friday.

Trendlines Inc. is in the process of liquidating assets at its 100,000-square-foot warehouse on Governor Lane Boulevard near Williamsport, where production has been halted for at least a month, said company president Terry Thompson.

Thompson said about $4 million in company debt, not poor sales, were the reason for Trendlines' demise.

"We were going great guns. We were expanding and doing very, very well," he said.

Thompson said he was "in the process" of notifying employees of the closure.

He said he did not know whether the company was subject to the federal plant-closing law, which requires a business of at least 100 employees to post 60-days notice to employees before closing its doors.

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"Losing a job anytime is bad, but losing it this time of year is really bad," Thompson said.

Trendlines, in the Interstate Industrial Park, made ready-to-assemble furniture using laminated particleboard. Products included bathroom furniture, closet storage, general storage and home office items.

The company was originally founded in 1980 as Atlantic Cabinet Corp. Alumax Home Products bought out the business in 1987 and it became Trendlines when the company was sold in 1990.

The company weathered the recession of the early 1990s, and announced expansion plans to add employees and equipment.

But a major investor in the Trendlines merged the company a year ago with a textile company in Georgia, Thompson said. That investor ended up closing the textile company, with Trendlines assuming the debt from the defunct firm, he said.

Thompson would not identify the investor, except to say he is not local.

Since then the company has laid off employees at various times and has been trying to work out ways to make up the $4 million shortfall, Thompson said. But it was unable to find an investor willing to bail out the company and on Wednesday of this week the company's bank ordered the liquidation, he said.

Thompson said he is still working on trying to find an investor who would be willing to bring the company back to life.

"It's a very good firm. We have a great reputation and have some very good customers," he said.

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