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Legacy leaving Las Vegas market

Legacy leaving Las Vegas market

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One of the nation’s largest furniture companies will leave the Las Vegas furniture market and show only in High Point to cut expenses.

Legacy Classic Furniture, a $200 million company, is fighting slow sales and had to cut expenses somewhere, said Lee Boone, president of the High Point company.

“We as a company just can’t afford to support two markets at this time,” he said Thursday.

Times are very tough, he said.

“We’re a big, well-capitalized company,” said Boone, whose company is the No. 1 supplier of nonupholstered furniture to Macy’s nationwide.

“We believe High Point is the market that suits us better,” he said.

His company operates a 45,000-square-foot showroom in High Point compared with a 21,000-square-foot showroom in Las Vegas that costs about the same.

Las Vegas “is a very well-run professional venue,” Boone said. “It’s got a lot going for it.”

Some of Legacy’s reasons for leaving:

l Las Vegas does not have the set builders and other support businesses that High Point has;

l High Point Market has improved its organization, transportation and entertainment in the past couple of years under the challenge of Las Vegas;

l Legacy does not have a West Coast warehouse, making it difficult to add new customers there;

l Most of Legacy’s buyers come to High Point exclusively.

“Now, seemingly for the first time, High Point is beginning to act more like a single body and a single entity than a bunch of renegade showrooms,” he said.

Legacy’s departure from Las Vegas is significant because it comes at a time when World Market Center will launch its third building next year in a market designed to conquer High Point.

When finished in 2013, the $2 billion complex will equal High Point’s 12 million square feet of space. Las Vegas is banking on its entertainment and compact furniture market center as the winning formula.

But Boone said other companies are also having a hard time paying the rent in Las Vegas.

Legacy will finish its lease in December, three years early, only because other tenants are able to take over its 28,000 square feet.

“I can’t image having to pay two lease rates for the next five years,” Boone said.

Contact Richard M. Barron at 373-7371 or dbarron


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