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NFL Furniture Should Score Big

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 Faithful Pittsburgh Steelers football fans will have officially licensed black and gold furniture to sit on next season when their team defends their fifth National Football League title.

The Super Bowl XL champions are bound to be one of the most popular team offerings as a new line of officially licensed NFL furniture begins hitting retail stores starting on Feb. 20.

Baseline Licensing Group announced Wednesday the shipping date for the Gridiron Collection -- a line of sofas, recliners, video rockers and kids recliners that will bear the color and logos of the NFL's 32 professional football teams. The product was first introduced in High Point during the October market.

According to the company, product demand has already been especially high for the Steelers products since their 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday night.

Pier 1 Offers $150 Million In Convertible Notes

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 Pier 1 has commenced an offering of $150 million of convertible senior notes due 2036 in a private offering.

In addition, the Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer said it expects to grant the initial purchaser the option to purchase an additional $15 million of notes. The notes pay interest semi-annually and will be convertible upon the occurrence of specified events into a combination of cash and the company's common stock at a conversion rate to be determined.

Pier 1 plans to use a portion of the proceeds from the offering to pay the cost of the convertible note hedge transaction, as well as to use the remainder to pay the expenses of the offering and for general corporate purposes.

The notes are guaranteed by certain of Pier 1's subsidiaries, and the retailer will pay cash equal to or less than the principal amount, shares of its common stock with a value equal to such excess.

In connection with the offering, Pier 1 expects to enter into a convertible note hedge transaction with an affiliate of the initial purchaser of the notes to increase the effective conversion premium.

Furniture Row Revs Up for NASCAR Nextel Cup

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 With the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series kicking off at Daytona International Speedway next weekend, the newest NEXTEL Series racing team -- created by one of the largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers -- is preparing itself to run the first of 36 events this season.

Furniture Row Racing, formed and sponsored by Furniture Row Companies, is one of the few sponsor-owned teams participating in the top racing series of the popular motorsport.

The retailer operates more than 270 retail stores in 30 states.

The company announced Wednesday that veteran drivers Kenny Wallace and Jerry Robertson will make up the Denver-based driving team this upcoming season.

"Furniture Row Racing has the resources, (Crew Chief) Joe Garone has the knowledge, and I'm very excited to help this new team get started," said Wallace in the announcement.

"To race in Cup is my ultimate dream," said Robertson. "We've got a year under our belts in the Busch Series, and the team is working very hard to get competitive for Cup. Everybody's really excited."

Mattresses -- The New Valentine's Day Gift?

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 Consumers may be trading in flowers and chocolate for bedroom furniture and accessories as the go-to-gifts this Valentine's Day., a provider of Web shopping services for retailers, predicts a large increase in home furnishings purchases -- especially mattresses -- for this year's retail holiday.

According to the online company this week, the trends away from traditional Valentine's Day gifts, such as candy and jewelry, are taking consumers into different directions with their gift purchases.

Data gathered from the Web site's visitors show an increased interest in bedroom products as Valentine's Day approaches. The second-most-searched term on the site last February was "furniture", while the third-most-searched item was "mattress" during the same time period.

"These numbers show pretty clearly that people do think about the bedroom around Valentine's Day," said's Eva Yusa. "But what's interesting is that, in an industry dominated by holiday sales meant to draw people into the physical store, more and more people are first researching mattresses on the Web, or simply buying them online."

Macy's Taps JWT Chicago for Advertising

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 Macy's Corporate Marketing, the marketing division of Macy's, has awarded the creative assignment of their national brand launch to JWT Chicago.

Following Federated's acquisition of May Department Stores last year, Macy's is adding about 330 regional stores. The Macy's chain will operate more than 800 stores. JWT is the largest advertising agency brand in the U.S. and is the fourth largest full-service network in the world. Its parent company is WPP.

"We saw many wonderful presentations from extremely talented agencies," said Peter Sachse, Macy's president and chief marketing officer. "JWT Store stood out from the crowd in their creative approach and understanding of our business needs."

Macy's is conducting a review for its media buying and planning account, with a decision expected later this month.
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