Cost Plus Adds Supply Chain Org., Online Selling

Michele SanFilippo, Powell Slaughter, November 28, 2005

Oakland, Calif. — Cost Plus, Inc. has created a supply chain organization focused on improving inventory levels, led by a former Williams-Sonoma executive, the company stated during its third-quarter earnings call.

Heading up the new division is Ray Whitley, senior vice president of supply chain operations, who will be responsible for distribution, logistics, planning and allocation. He brings a background in inventory and supply management from Williams-Sonoma, Inc., where he was vice president of supply chain optimization and store operations.

Barry Feld, Cost Plus president and CEO, added, “We will continue to improve inventory levels as we move forward. To ensure that we continue to aggressively manage our inventory levels, we have reorganized various disciplines under a new supply chain organization that will report directly to me.”

In addition, the company is focused on growing its Internet presence and has started selling select products at Cost Plus will be advertising in major online newspapers and sending targeted e-mail blasts to more than 500,000 customers.

“We are very excited about the opportunities for growth and brand building in this distribution channel, and anticipate rapid expansion of the various product categories offered for sale on our site,” said Feld, adding that early numbers indicate the Web will become a significant revenue stream.

In fact, Cost Plus executives said the new online sales tool has provided the opportunity for the company to enter the catalog business sometime in early 2006. It is currently working on its first catalog, designed to bring triangular marketing into the fold.

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