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Retail Briefs

Williams-Sonoma Maintains Guidance

A comparable store increase of just 1.1% for the eight-week holiday period ended Dec. 24, 2006 was enough to fit in with plans at Williams-Sonoma, which reiterated its earlier fourth quarter and fiscal year 2006 revenue and diluted earnings per share guidance. Sales were up 3.6% to $900.4 million over the same period one year ago. The 1.1% same store increase was up against a 4.5% rise the year prior. The multi-platform home furnishings retailer projects a fourth-quarter diluted eps of $1.00 - $1.06 and a full year diluted eps of $1.74 - $1.80.

Bon-Ton Plans Store Upgrades

The Bon-Ton Stores will update its Elder-Beerman and Parisian stores in Beavercreek, Ohio, and its Parisian Circle Centre store in Indianapolis. The Beavercreek renovations will include upgrades to the home department and a 65,000 square foot furniture gallery in the 150,000 square foot Elder-Beerman location. A 15,000 square foot Home Store will be featured in the 144,000 square foot Indianapolis store, which will operate under the Carson Pirie Scott nameplate. The 283-unit department store retailer will close its distribution center in Ankeny, Iowa.

Target Names Steinhafel to Board

Target Corporation appointed president Gregg Steinhafel to its board of directors; he is the second "insider" director, joining chairman and ceo Bob Ulrich. Steinhafel joined the company in 1979 and served in a variety of merchandising positions before being named executive vp, merchandising in 1994. He was promoted to president of Target in 1999.

Tuesday Morning Sales, Profits Down

Tuesday Morning reported fourth-quarter net sales of $321.3 million, down 4.1% from $335.2 million for the same period one year ago. For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, sales were $911.1 million, down 2.2% from $931.8 million. Comp sales fell 9.8% for the quarter and 7.9% for the year. The 795-store closeout retailer expects quarterly diluted earnings per share in the range of $0.53 to $0.56, and for the year in the range of $0.83 to $0.86. Diluted earnings per share last year were $0.85 for the fourth quarter and $1.46 for the full year.

Restoration Hardware Holiday Hot

Restoration Hardware reported positive sales results for the nine-week holiday period ended Dec. 30, with net revenue up 22% to $173.2 million and same store sales up 10.3%. Gary Friedman, chairman, president and ceo of the 111-store specialty chain, said, "We are pleased to report strong growth in both our retail and direct-to-customer segments." The direct segment, which the company has pushed recently with new catalog offerings, was up 51%. The company reiterated its guidance for diluted earnings per share toward the lower end of the previous range of between $0.34 and $0.44 per share against last year's loss per share of $0.52.

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