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Brought to you by Home Furnishings Business

King Koil's Diamonstein, Carpenter Co.'s Malechek Honored

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006

he International Sleep Products Association presented King Koil's Richard Diamonstein with an award Friday for his exemplary service to the bedding industry, while Carpenter Co.'s Ed Malechek took home similar honors for his work in the mattress field.

Diamonstein, the executive vice president of King Koil Mid-Atlantic, earned the Russell L. Abolt Exceptional Service Award, an honor given to someone who displays the highest level of career devotion to better the bedding industry.

"Richard Diamonstein is an outstanding executive, an outstanding ISPA member and an outstanding person," David Orders, of Park Place Corporation and ISPA immediate past chair, said in a ISPA release. "He is, in fact, one of the great leaders of our industry."

Malechek, the executive vice president of Carpenter Co., grabbed the Robert MacMorran Memorial Award, an honor by the Suppliers Council to recognize outstanding service to the mattress industry.

"Ed has worked tirelessly to raise public awareness of better sleep through better mattresses," said Orders. "He truly embodies the spirit of partnership in the bedding industry."

Pier 1 to Present at Investor Conference

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 Pier 1 Imports will participate in next week's Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference.

Cary Turner, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer, is scheduled to give a presentation Tuesday. The presentation will be broadcast live beginning at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time.

The live Web cast will be available on the company's Web site through its investor relations page at pier1.com.

Hodges retires from Master Design

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 Gene Hodges has retired as president of case goods supplier Master Design effective March 1.

A replacement has not yet been named. In the interim, Chester Lee, president of Test Rite USA, will take over Hodges responsibilities. Master Design is a subsidiary of Test Rite Products Corp.

"We appreciate the tremendous effort and the contribution Gene has made to the company over the years," Lee said. "He is well-respected in the industry and has always been highly regarded at Test Rite. We wish him good fortune and continued success in the future."

In a release, the company said Master Design will move forward, continuing in partnership with Test Rite and the commitment to provide excellence to its customers.

"We will be proactive in this perpetually changing industry and improve our effectiveness to compete," Lee said. "We will always respond to the ever-changing global arena from our customers to our suppliers and to the end consumers."

Havertys Releases February Sales

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 Atlanta-based Havertys same-store sales for February dropped 2.6 percent from the same month last year.

The retailer also said monthly sales dropped 1.1 percent to $67.5 million for February, compared to $68.2 million during February 2005.

The company's comparable-store sales do not includes stores or locations opened, closed or otherwise non-comparable during the last 12 months. Sales for the first two months of this year decreased 0.1 percent to $134.3 million compared with $134.4 million last year.

Same-store sales dropped 1.4 percent for the first two months of the year compared with last year.

"Sales were generally soft for February 2006 versus the very good 6.1 percent increase in comparable-store sales we had a year ago," said Clarence Smith, president and chief executive officer. "We are pleased that our gross profit margins have continued improving in the last few months. Our attention is also on sales growth and we are intensifying our efforts to generate a better top-line performance."

Havertys has 118 showrooms in 17 states in the Southern and Midwestern regions selling quality middle- to upper-middle priced product.

Dorel Sales Up, Earnings Down in 2005

By Home Furnishings Business in on March 2006 A sharp decline in fourth-quarter sales in its recreational and leisure business helped reduce earnings at Canadian ready-to-assemble major Dorel Industries Inc., the company said Thursday.

Net income for the quarter was $22.5 million (U.S. dollars), compared to $34.7 million in the prior-year period, on revenue of $430.3 million, down from $469.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2004. Excluding restructuring costs incurred on the previously-announced Ameriwood ready-to-assemble furniture plant shutdown, net income would have been $22.9 million.

Year-end revenue of $1.76 billion was up 3 percent from 2004's $1.71 billion. Adjusted net income for 2005 declined 2.6 percent to $97.5 million from $100.1 million the prior year. On an unadjusted basis, annual net income was down 8.7 percent to $91.3 million.

The fourth-quarter revenue drop was due to a sharp decline in Dorel's recreational and leisure segment, which declined by 35.8 percent against the same period in 2004, which included exceptional sales of the Sting-Ray bicycle in anticipation of the 2004 holiday shopping season. The juvenile and home furnishing segments, however, posted modest revenue increases of 1.5 percent and 2 percent respectively in the quarter.

Year-over-year increases in revenues also occurred in both the juvenile and home furnishing segments, which increased by 9.1 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively. An 11.5 percent drop in recreational and leisure sales, again due to the Sting-Ray's success in 2004, offset those gains.

"In 2005, Dorel had strong performances in juvenile and in several home furnishing units," said Martin Schwartz, president and chief executive officer of Dorel. "However these were offset by challenges in recreational/leisure and ready-to-assemble furniture. Pacific Cycle was following a huge success in 2004 with its Sting-Ray chopper bicycle, a success that made 2005 a difficult one by comparison. However, as a result of this event, we have re-focused our energy on improving the recreational product line beyond bicycles into motor scooters, swing sets and adding effort to other areas of that business. Our RTA furniture business continues to be in a turn-around phase. Significant improvements were made in sales and marketing, as well as new product development, but necessary factory improvements remain to be achieved."