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Canadian Tire sales up 5.1 percent

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canadian Tire, the Canadian home improvement and automotive retail chain, had second-quarter net earnings of $122.3 million, up 18.4 percent from $103.3 million last year.

Sales rose 5.1 percent, to $2.84 billion from $2.7 billion last year.

“All of our businesses contributed to our sales growth during the quarter,” said Tom Gauld, president and CEO. “Canadian Tire Retail’s sales, while impacted by unseasonable weather in the month of April, strengthened significantly in May and June.”

In the quarter, Canadian Tire introduced a new store format, called the “20/20” store format. The 15 stores, located in the north- and south-shore areas of Montreal, represent the “largest single conversion of stores in the company’s history,” Canadian Tire representatives said in a statement.

Changes to the stores include an expansion of the company’s core product assortment, a new store design, new floor layout and added product categories. The goal of the stores’ redesigns is to increase retail sales by 20 percent on average, the company said.

The company noted that it expects third-quarter earnings to be relatively flat compared with 2006, due to store openings and expenses from growth initiatives, followed by a strong fourth quarter.

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Restoration Hardware lowers outlook

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Restoration Hardware has lowered its fiscal 2007 earnings guidance, due to a challenging, competitive environment in the home furnishings market and weakness in the home-building sector.

The company says it now expects a loss-per-share of between $0.21 and $0.19, “reflecting below-plan revenues and a higher-than-anticipated mix of promotional selling.”

“The company has several new growth vehicles in place that we expect will drive revenue growth in the second half of the year, including the recent introduction of Restoration Hardware Trade [and] the continued rollout of the Restoration Hardware Bed & Bath Catalog,” said Gary Friedman, president and CEO.

The company also has announced a redesigned Web site that will launch in the fall.

Additionally, the company said it has signed a 15-year lease for a new distribution center in West Jefferson, Ohio. The company said construction would begin this fall on the 800,000-square-foot facility.

The facility will be used to stock the company’s East Coast retail stores and its non-furniture, direct-to-consumer business.

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Lowe’s plans distribution center in Mississippi

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s is planning to build an approximately $15 million distribution center in Mississippi, according to the Hattiesburg American newspaper.

Construction for the 130,000-square-foot facility is planned for October in Purvis Industrial Park, in Purvis, Miss. The facility is expected to employ 35 people, according to the newspaper.

In a May conference call with investors, Lowe’s COO Larry Stone discussed the company’s longstanding plans to expand distribution capabilities. Lowe’s most recently opened a new distribution center in Rockford, Ill., part of a company goal to grow inventory at 75 percent of sales growth. Another new distribution center has been planned for Lebanon, Ore.

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