STORE SPACES

Lumber Liquidators profit falls amid costs; to open 35-40 stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toano, Va. – Net income at Lumber Liquidators decreased 13.2% to $13.7 million during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to $15.8 million in the same period the prior year. During fiscal 2014, the retailer intends to open 35 to 40 new store locations in the expanded showroom format and remodel 25 to 30 existing stores in the expanded showroom format.

During the quarter, net sales increased 6.9% to $246.3 million, from $230.4 million. Same-store sales dropped 0.6%. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased, negatively impacting net income, and Lumber Liquidators estimated unusually severe winter weather adversely impacted net sales in as many as 135 of its 331 store locations in operation during the quarter.

Looking ahead, Lumber Liquidators forecasts net sales of $1.15 billion-$1.2 billion and same-stores growth in the mid-to-high single digits for fiscal 2014.

“Like so many, our team was frustrated by the severity, scale and duration of the harsh winter and the adverse impact it had on our net sales,” said Robert M. Lynch, president and CEO. “Our customers generally follow a long purchase cycle, which we believe was either interrupted or completely suspended due to the unusually severe winter weather. However, as conditions generally became more seasonal in mid-March, customer demand increased. The key strategic initiatives we have implemented over the last two years have strengthened our operations, and we believe we are more capable than ever of serving customers who postponed their flooring purchase in the first quarter."

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STORE SPACES

Forever 21 to open new value-fashion retail concept

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Forever 21 will debut a new retail concept on May 3, at Azalea Shopping Center in South Gate, California. Called F21 Red, the format will offer fast-fashion and low prices.

The new concept will offer a larger selection of starting price points, including $1.80 camisoles and $7.80 denim for women and girls, according to a report by California Apparel News. The men’s selection will include T-shirts and tank tops for $3.80.

“We are very pleased to unveil the first F21 Red store in the Azalea Shopping Center,” said Don Chang, the retailer’s founder and CEO, in a statement. “With F21, we are able to deliver greater quantities of the styles our customers seek while maintaining the value with entry-level category price points Forever 21 is known for offering.”

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Sears Hometown store in Montana remodels

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. has remodeled a Sears Hometown store in Helena, Mont. The store now has a fresh look.

"The Helena community has been so great to us for the past 20 years, so we wanted to reinvest in our business to make it even better for local residents," said store owner and operator Sharon Kangas. "Besides our new look, customers can expect a greater product selection and expanded services, like kitchen remodeling. We have the same knowledgeable team in place and look forward to continuing to provide exceptional customer service and a wonderful in-store experience."

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