Kirkland’s aims for merchandising turnaround

Jackson,Tenn.– Home décor specialty chain Kirkland’s today reported disappointing first-quarter results, but noted it has taken steps toward a turnaround.

Catherine David, president and coo, pointed to aggressive buys in such product lines as wall décor and textiles, but said, “We didn’t drive those categories….didn’t buy enough to capitalize” on the enthusiastic reception by shoppers.

Robert Alderson, ceo, noted that the 347-store company is in the midst of rebuilding its merchandising and operations management and staff. Expressing confidence in the “deeper, more talented team,” Alderson said dramatically better results will not necessarily be obtained in the second quarter.

The company reported a first-quarter net loss of $7.5 million, more than twice the loss of $3.0 million a year earlier. Sales fell 11.1% to $82.3 million, while comps were off a disheartening 18.8%.

David added that in promotional marketing, Kirkland ’s is shifting from gift giving occasions to category-oriented events.

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