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by Virginia Annable, Hickory Daily Record

Universal Furniture sewers use iPads to keep track of patterns and workflow at the plant.  Photo by Robert C. Reed, Hickory Daily Record


In a year and a half, Universal Furniture turned a former Southern Furniture plant in Conover on its head. The company set up a new custom furniture line, brought in new equipment and technology, and reimagined the furniture process. Now, Universal is looking to grow its custom upholstery division even more.

Universal Furniture bought Southern Furniture, a custom upholstered furniture manufacturer, in October 2019. Since then, Universal has invested over $500,000 in the new plant, said Senior Vice President Sean O’Connor. New technology was added, the building was updated and rearranged to improve workflow and thousands of new fabrics, furniture styles and offerings were developed to be manufactured in the facility.

“We were lucky enough to be financially stable enough to not have to go back into manufacturing the same products,” O’Connor said. “We’re financially stable enough to do it right.”...


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