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Tuesday Morning snuggles much deeper into home

Based on the strong success it experienced during the third quarter with textiles as well as seasonal merchandise, Tuesday Morning will be placing emphasis on its high-quality sheets and upscale bath towel offerings for this year's last quarter, as reported during its third quarter conference call.

Kathleen Mason, president and ceo, described textiles, towels and comforters as "some of our best performing categories" in the third quarter.

"The categories that had previously caused the greatest concern — luggage, sheets and housewares — are showing signs of recovery with respect to price points," she continued.

Mason said the quarter proved to be a period when the company's financial position, she said, "has never been better."

"We have clean inventories, a strong cash flow and early debt redemption," she continued. "Our distribution initiatives are paying off and driving additional profitability and a more consistent flow of merchandise to the stores."

Looking forward to the fourth quarter and the holiday selling season, the 556-unit off-price chain has already implemented many initiatives — including store personnel training and installation of new equipment for unloading and opening boxes of new inventory and stocking store shelves — to boost its merchandise flow onto store shelves more rapidly to a weekly basis, up from 44 times annually.

"The company historically delivered new merchandise to stores 13 to 14 times per year and over the last three years has increased [that rate]," Loren Jensen, cfo, evp, said.

Last year, he said, Tuesday Morning delivered merchandise to its stores 38 times.

Mason said the company is positive about the availability of key merchandise in the marketplace to meet the needs during the holidays.

"We've had no difficulty in the marketplace of finding goods," she said. "Our focus this past October mailer was decorative home, and we're also focusing on gift giving in November and December."

Other major drivers, she noted, are expected to be sheets and bath towels, as well as stocking stuffers, toys and men's executive gifts like pens.

"We feel very well prepared in the textiles category for fourth quarter," Mason said. "We are known for our high quality sheets and we also have Italian towels coming in, so for both these categories we are expecting to see increases over last year."

Also for the fourth quarter, Tuesday Morning will be rolling out new holiday-themed television advertisements.

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