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Lumber Liquidators raises 2013 outlook; plans 30-40 stores in 2014

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toano, Va. – Lumber Liquidators has raised its full year 2013 outlook. Based on year-to-date results and current trends, the company now expects net sales in the range of $994 million to $1 billion, up from a previous range of $985 million to $995 million, with the fourth quarter ranging from $252 million to $258 million.

Lumber Liquidators also expects to open a total of 29-30 new stores during 2013 and increase net store sales 15% to 16%, up from a previous range of 14% to 15%, with the fourth quarter ranging from 13% to 15%.

In addition, for full year 2014 Lumber Liquidators expects to open a total of 30 to 40 new store locations and remodel a total of 25 to 35 existing stores, all in the expanded showroom format. The retailer also expects net sales in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.2 billion, and a same-store net sales increase in the high single to low-double digits.

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Office Depot chooses Boca Raton

BY CSA STAFF

Office Depot has chosen Boca Raton, Fla., for its global headquarters.

The company took several factors into account, including the cost to operate each headquarters location, lease obligations and sublease considerations, tax implications, government incentives, ability to add associates and incorporate functions in the current space, and people-related costs.

“Selecting the headquarters location is a critical step toward integrating our two companies,” said chairman and CEO Roland Smith. “Both Florida and Illinois have many positive attributes, but our analysis concluded that Boca Raton provides the best platform for us to achieve planned synergies, leverage assets to drive improved profitability, and launch a compelling vision for the future.

“We appreciate the significant efforts from legislators in Illinois and the generous support we have received from the State of Florida, Palm Beach County and City of Boca Raton,” Smith added. “We would like to thank Florida Governor Rick Scott, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the countless others involved in providing the information necessary for us to make this important decision.”

The company will remain in its current 625,000-sq.-ft. corporate campus located at 6600 North Military Trail in Boca Raton, which has ample space to accommodate associates who relocate from Illinois.

“With the location of our headquarters now decided, we will quickly move forward to build a world-class leadership team and organization focused on exceeding the expectations of consumers and businesses, becoming a more appealing partner to our vendors, and driving value for our shareholders,” Smith added. “To do that, we will select the best talent available from both locations.”

Office Depot plans to maintain a presence in Naperville throughout the transition and accompanying integration activities. Office Depot and OfficeMax retail store locations, customer service centers, warehouses and distribution centers will not be affected by the selection of the headquarters location, according to the company.

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Survey: Gen X, Millennials seek product transparency

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — Retailers and manufacturers targeting Gen X and Y shoppers this holiday season should introduce more transparency into their product labels and identify fair trade, conflict-free and environmentally friendly practices. Results of a new survey by KPMG LLP reveal that nearly 70% of consumers younger than age 30 consider social issues such as sustainability, human rights and fair trade before making a purchase. This outpaces the less than 50% of consumers overall who feel the same way.

The survey reveals that young consumers focused more on social issues when considering big ticket purchases such as automobiles, computers, consumer electronics and jewelry versus everyday items such as gasoline, toys and food. Thirty-four percent of consumers younger than 30 always or frequently consider social issues when buying everyday goods, compared to 41% when buying big ticket items.

“Many regulations are accelerating trends that would take place anyway,” said Jim Low, audit partner, KPMG LLP. “Retailers are increasingly asking their suppliers to assess their environmental and social sustainability. Several of the leading retail and grocery chains have recently introduced ranking systems to help consumers identify sustainable products. Consumers and investors continue to increase pressure on companies to adopt more sustainable practices.”

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