Attendance climbs at stair industry event
The Stairway Manufacturers’ Association’s (SMA’s) annual conference in Charlotte, N.C., attracted 20% more attendees than last year’s event in St. Louis, the SMA announced.
During the conference, the membership ratified a new mission statement: "To be the greatest resource of knowledge and tools contributing to the success of our members and the stair industry." The SMA is currently reviewing its advertising and display policy to determine if less restrictions would be beneficial to its mission.
Also at the event, the 2011 SMA StairCraft Award winners were announced. "Best Curved Stairway" and "Best Stair Part" were awarded to Arcways of Neenah, Wis.; "Best Straight Stairway" was awarded to Seattle Stair and Design of Seattle. StairCraft Award Winners are chosen on the basis of aesthetic value, stair safety, quality, and technical challenge.
The association will hold a conference in Indianapolis Nov. 11-13.
Shoplifting suspect uses mulch to steal wire
A South Carolina teenager has been charged with repeatedly stealing coils of metal wire from a Home Depot store by hiding them under bags of mulch, according to an article in GoUpstate.com.
Malik Shaban, age 17, was arrested April 25 outside a Home Depot in Spartanburg, S.C., where police found him with three bags of mulch in his car, the report said. Under the mulch and a jacket in the car were nine rolls of copper wire valued at $808, according to the article.
Police said there were two other similar incidents this month. On April 5, store employees claimed that Shaban took a 500-foot roll of wire in a cart and pushed the cart out of the store without paying. An employee found the wire behind the store before Shaban was able to load it into his car, the report said. The wire was valued at $516.
In a second incident on April 22, store employees told police that Shaban placed six rolls of electrical wire in a car, then put three bags of mulch on top of it. Shaban paid for the mulch but stole the wire, valued at $720, according to the police report.
Shaban was charged with shoplifting and two counts of shoplifting enhanced. He was released from detention on a $12,000 bond.
Lumber Liquidators reports rise in Q1 sales
Toano, Va.-based hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators posted first-quarter net sales of $159.7 million, a 5.6% increase from sales of $151.2 million in the first quarter of 2010. Comparable-store sales decreased 4.3% for the quarter, compared with an increase of 8.0% for the first quarter of the prior year. The drop in same-store sales was attributed to “the adverse impact of inconsistent servicing of new demand following the implementation of the company’s integrated technology solution in August 2010,” according to a press release.
Net income for the quarter, which ended March 31, was $5.8 million, compared with $7.0 million a year ago, a 17.1% decline. The company opened 16 stores during the first quarter of 2011, including three in Canada.
"We are pleased with our progress across a range of strategic initiatives,” said Jeffrey Griffiths, president and CEO. “We believe our store operations have regained pre-implementation levels of productivity and have improved execution in converting demand to net sales.”
Looking forward, the company anticipates net sales for the full year in the range of $700 million to $730 million. Comp-store sales are expected to increase in the low to mid-single digits in 2011. The opening of a total of 40 to 50 new store locations, with 35 to 40 in the United States and the remainder in Canada, are planned for this fiscal year.