Cost Plus to expand focus on home

OAKLAND , Calif. — Cost Plus is trying to focus on higher-margin items and is reaping some success in areas such as bedding, pillows, floor coverings, collectibles and candles.

During its first quarter conference call this morning, executives said the company is positioning itself in the long-run to be less dependent on promotional areas, and expanding the home décor business. Cost Plus is trying to add interest to merchandising the home area by color blocking the assortment, displaying three beds and adding 15 rug arms to all its stores.

The company reported a net loss of $138,000 for the first quarter, including pre-tax charges of $3.1 related to the departure of its CEO, versus net income of $3.2 million in the prior year first quarter. Sales were $200 million, up 7.7 percent. Comps decreased 1.9 percent.

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