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Young America Featured on Oprah

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006

Youth producer Young America will be featured on today's The Oprah Winfrey show as part of a special program highlighting the talk show host's work with Habitat for Humanity in rebuilding homes for young survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Young America partnered with Oprah's Angel Network and Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes.

"Many of these children have no tangible evidence of their lives before Katrina," says Glenn Prillaman, Young America senior vice president of marketing and sales. "They lost not only their homes and basic family necessities, but also their toys, their belongings and their beds – things that were uniquely theirs. We're happy to help give these young survivors a space to call their own, as well as hope for a brighter future."

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Winfrey pledged $10 million of her own money and launched Oprah's Angel Network Katrina Homes Registry so viewers could help build homes for the hurricane survivors.

Partnering with Habitat for Humanity, Oprah's Angel Network not only built the homes, but furnished them, too.

Katrina Drives Strong Start For Tupelo Market

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 By Powell Slaughter

The impact of Hurricane Katrina has led to a rebuilding effort along the Gulf Coast that could help drive business at this week's Tupelo market -- where pre-opening day traffic was clearly stronger than August -- for several years.

"The dealers who didn't lose their locations are selling tons of furniture as people rebuild," said Bill Cleveland, president and chief operating officer of the Tupelo market. "The ones we talked to are obviously selling more furniture than usual. Right now, it's the northern ends of the storm area and where the damage was more from flooding than total destruction. Preregistration is up significantly over August and, more important, up nicely over last February. It's the rest of the week that will tell the story."

Several exhibitors said Tuesday that they already were seeing the effect.

"Sales are really starting to kick up with our dealers in a lot of the Katrina area, but the destruction along the coast was so complete, dealers tell me, that (some) dealers there still haven't recovered," David Ballard, president of Primo Designs.

Todd Evans, vice president of sales and marketing for Kathy Ireland Home by Standard, said early traffic opening day was a lot brisker than August's.

"A lot of our dealers have been shopping for our domestic laminate case goods and promotional occasional," he said. "Our business in the Katrina area has already risen 35 to 40 percent from last year, so we've seen a big spike."

Ballard and Cleveland noted that if the experience at retail in South Florida holds true, furniture retailers have to gear up to providing a valuable service rather than a product of choice for consumers.

"The number I saw is that Andrew destroyed or damaged around 150,000 structures," Ballard said. "Per capita income in South Florida is higher than in southern Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, but Katrina affected more than 450,000 structures in those areas."

Katrina created a situation where furniture isn't a discretionary purchase.

"The corollary is that this probably will be the juice at the Tupelo market for the next couple of years," Ballard said. "It's too early to tell whether it will be this week, but certainly by August."

For a while, anyway, Ballard and others believe dealers in the areas will focus as much on logistics as new styles.

"Dealers aren't necessarily focused on new product," he said. "They are asking 'How can I keep what I'm buying now flowing fast enough.'"

Gould Joins Broyhill

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 David Gould has been named director of supply chain management for Broyhill Furniture.

In his position, Gould is responsible for demand planning, logistics and inventory and shipping management. He reports to Dean Powell, senior vice president of operations.

Prior to joining Broyhill, Gould spent six years with Universal Furniture as director of supply chain and earlier, their director of demand management. He was responsible for container management, overseas product purchasing and scheduling, and operational systems analysis. Gould's experience also includes materials management with companies such as Maitland-Smith, Mannington Wood Floors and Emerson Electric.

"With David's vast knowledge of supply chain management, we continue to build a strong team at Broyhill that knows, understands and can project the needs of today's savvy consumer," Powell said. "David will keep the flow of our products matched to the pace of our customer's frequently-changing demands."

Havertys Reports Annual Sales, Income

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 Atlanta-based Havertys has reported net income for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 of $6.8 million, a 22.4 percent decline from the $8.7 million posted during the same quarter last year.

Earnings for the year were $15.1 million, a 33.5 percent decrease compared with $22.6 million during the year before.

As previously reported, sales for the fourth quarter were $225.6 million, a 4.1 percent jump from sales in the corresponding quarter in 2004. Annual sales increased 5.5 percent to $827.7 million from $784.2 million in 2004. Comparable-store sales in 2005 increased 1.2 percent for the fourth quarter and 1.8 percent for the year.

Clarence H. Smith, president and chief executive officer, said the company's fourth quarter earnings reflected modest sales increases and improving gross profit margins offset by higher sales, general and administrative costs and much lower other income from property dispositions.

"The gross profit margins were 59 basis points better than the fourth quarter last year and the highest of any 2005 quarter," Smith said. "We attribute this progress to increased sales of our Havertys Collections private label products replacing sales of widely distributed merchandise sold under certain manufacturers' brands."

The retailer is putting a lot of emphasis on its private label product line.

"The Havertys brand has become a central focus for our future and key to further improving gross profit margins," Smith said. "We believe we can increase market share in 2006 as we strive to better connect with our customers and earn more of their business."

Lowe's to Release 2005 Earnings

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 Lowe's Cos. will release its 2005 year-end results Monday, Feb. 27, and will follow up the release with a conference call at 9 a.m. EST.

The conference for the Mooresville, N.C.-based home-improvement chain -- with fiscal 2004 sales of $36.5 billion -- will be available via the Internet at or by calling (888) 817-4020.

A replay of the Webcast will be available through May 21 and can be accessed by visiting the same Web address or by dialing (800) 642-1687 and entering conference number 4000296.
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