October 29, 2007-- Home Textiles Today,
CB2 Prepping for NYC Opening
Crate & Barrel’s CB2 will expand beyond its Chicago base next month with the opening of the concept’s first New York store. CB2 will open Nov. 6 at 451 Broadway in the SoHo neighborhood. The location is just a few blocks south of Crate & Barrel’s downtown store at 611 Broadway. The New York unit will be the third store for the CB2 brand, which is largely driven through internet and catalog sales.
Wal-Mart Trumpets Price Cuts
With holiday shopping underway, and in the wake of its Oct. 1 announcement of 10% - 50% price cuts on a range of toys, Wal-Mart has reduced prices on 15,000 items — a 20% greater reduction than last year’s holiday rollback. Examples of products in food, toys, home and apparel were cited — but none specifically in soft home, although the retailer said more cuts were scheduled. “In an effort to help stretch the dollar, we’re giving customers an early start on holiday savings with even more targeted price cuts to come,” said Bill Simon, evp and coo, Wal-Mart.
Bon-Ton Outlook Down, Home Up
The Bon-Ton Stores said that based on year-to-date third quarter results, it “does not expect to achieve its previously stated full year fiscal 2007 earnings guidance.” The 279-unit department store retailer plans to update guidance on its quarterly conference call on Nov. 29. Accentuating the positive, Bud Bergren, president and ceo, called home “very good” during an analyst presentation. It is “actually selling very well — hard home, furniture, soft home,” said Bergren, adding, “The home business, which was an issue for a year — that was the biggest change for the Bon-Ton customers, and it turned around in August and September, and going into October it has been strong.”
The Bombay Company Dissolving
Weeks after filing Chapter 11, home furnishings specialty retailer The Bombay Co. received bankruptcy court permission to sell its 50-store Canadian subsidiary to Benix Inc., owned by the B&C Group which also operates the 150-store Bowring furniture and home decor chain. Meanwhile the rest of the 384-store Bombay is being transferred for liquidation to the winner of an Oct. 12 auction: the joint venture of Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources, two seasoned inventory liquidation firms. One unresolved item is the U.S. intellectual property rights and Bombay’s real estate assets, which were to be treated separately. David Stewart, ceo of Bombay, stepped down on Oct. 19.
ShopKo Warms Up Store Looks
North-Midwestern regional upscale discounter ShopKo continues to remodel its 132 general merchandise stores. “The palette will be warm, but updated with more modern colors and design details,” said Jane VanAuken, Shopko vp of store planning. “We are also completely rearranging our merchandise for better flow and ease of shopping.” That customer is described by Shopko as a mother with children at home. Shopko is keying its softer and more feminine décor to its ideal shopper demographic: a mother with children at home. Mike MacDonald, Shopko chairman and ceo said, “We’re evolving with our customers and their needs.”
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