REAL ESTATE

City Furniture expands in Florida

BY Dan Berthiaume

Taramac, Fla. — Furniture retailer City Furniture is completing a $17.5 realignment of its South Florida retail network with the opening of a new 34,000-sq.-ft. Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Cutler Bay, Florida. This location is adjacent to a 56,000-sq.-ft. City Furniture showroom that opened in October 2013, creating a 90,000-sq.-ft. superstore.

City Furniture, which is the Southeast and Southwest Florida licensee for Ashley Furniture HomeStore, added or renovated five South Florida stores since 2012 and plans to open three more Ashley Furniture HomeStore locations and another City Furniture showroom in South Florida in the next three years. The company is also researching possible sites for future expansion in the Tampa and Orlando markets, as well as in Miami-Dade County.

“This opening is a significant milestone in our strategic plan,” said City Furniture president Keith Koenig. “We’ve, reconfiguring our company to do a better job meeting customers’ needs. At the same time, we’ve geared our expanded product lines and great values to consumers’ evolving tastes.”

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OPERATIONS

Lululemon founder Wilson votes against reinstating directors

BY Dan Berthiaume

Vancouver, Canada — Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson announced that he voted against the re-election of Michael Casey and RoAnn Costin to the board of Lululemon Athletica. Wilson, who founded the company in 1998, had been living in Australia and was asked by the company to return and deal with a quality control issue that resulted in a product recall during 2013.

Wilson oversaw a management shakeup that resulted in a new CEO and head of product quality. Casey, a former Starbucks executive, recently rose to chairman of the board from lead director after Wilson announced his resignation as chairman to focus on other ventures. Costin is president of a private Boston-based equity company that focuses on investing in early and expansion-stage consumer product and retailing companies.

"After being asked by the board to come back from Australia to help the company recover from the product recall last year, I have decided to vote against the re-election of the company’s outside board members,” said Wilson. “While I am excited about the new management team that I helped put in place, I am concerned that the board is not aligned with the core values of product and innovation on which Lululemon was founded and on which the company thrived. As a 27% shareholder in the company, I believe change is now needed at the board level to increase shareholder value."

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News

Hawaii-based KTA Super Stores upgrades Symphony EYC G.O.L.D.

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hilo, Hawaii — KTA Super Stores, a six-store supermarket chain serving the main island of Hawaii, has finalized upgrading Symphony EYC G.O.L.D. to the latest software version. The new capabilities including direct store delivery (DSD) and invoice reconciliation are the first step in KTA’s incorporation of the latest enhanced version of Symphony EYC’s merchandise management system, which is planned to be implemented across all of its island stores.

“The addition of direct store delivery and invoice reconciliation helps KTA both expand its options for customer shopping and streamline its financial processes,” said Lon Taniguchi, VP, IS of KTA Super Stores. “Looking forward, KTA anticipates that the rollout of the latest Symphony EYC Merchandise Management and Master Data Management solution across all six grocery stores will make us the grocery of choice for the island of Hawaii.”

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