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Container Store expands to six new locations

BY Brae Canlen

The Container Store, a specialty retailer in home organization solutions, has announced six new locations in the United States, including its first foray into Las Vegas and Long Island. It will bring the company’s store count to 59 by the end of 2012. 

The new stores will be located in Arlington, Texas; Las Vegas; El Segundo, Calif.; Peabody, Mass.; and Westbury, N.Y., with a sixth location still being finalized. For each new store, The Container Store will partner with a local nonprofit that will receive 10% of its grand opening weekend sales as part of the retailer’s commitment to give back to its local communities. 

In addition to store expansion, some of The Container Store’s other strategic initiatives for 2012 include a Dallas-area test of its new ATHome program, which will bring the retailer’s expertise and product knowledge into its customers’ homes. No further details were given on the initiative. 

The Arlington, Texas, store will open on Sat., March 3 and occupy 23,056 sq. ft. in Arlington Highlands. This will be the retailer’s seventh location in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, where the company was founded in 1978. 

The Las Vegas store, the first in Nevada, will open May 12 and occupy 22,000 sq. ft. in the Las Vegas Town Square.

The El Segundo, Calif., store will open June 16 and occupy 22,000 sq. ft. in Plaza El Segundo. This will be the retailer’s fourth Los Angeles location.

The Peabody, Mass. store will open fall 2012 and occupy 24,000 sq. ft. alongside the Northshore Mall. This will mark the retailer’s third location in the greater Boston area, as it currently has stores in Natick and Chestnut Hill.

The Westbury, N.Y., store will open fall 2012 and occupy 24,000 sq. ft. in the Gallery at Westbury Plaza. This will be the retailer’s fourth location in the state of New York, as it currently operates a store in White Plains and two Manhattan locations (Sixth Ave. between 18th and 19th and at 58th and Lexington).

The details for the sixth store opening are currently being finalized and will be released upon completion. 

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Retail theft ring that targeted Lowe’s convicted

BY Brae Canlen

Two members of a retail theft ring charged with stealing more than $100,000 worth of merchandise from Lowe’s stores in five western states were convicted of multiple felony counts by a federal jury in the western district of Washington State. 

Leonard Hollingsworth and Larsell Hollingsworth were found guilty on all counts of the indictment, including 15 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Case. The men will be sentenced on May 11, 2012.

Seven members of the conspiracy were originally charged, but five pled guilty prior to trial and most will be sentenced later this year.

According to court records and testimony at trial, members of the conspiracy would steal items, such as expensive faucets, from Lowe’s stores by placing them in large boxes for sinks or toilets. The conspirators would leave the store paying only the lower price for the sink or toilet. Later on, the shoplifters would return the stolen items to different Lowe’s stores throughout Arizona, Oregon, California, Oklahoma and Washington in exchange for gift cards. Members of the conspiracy then sold the gift cards for cash.

The theft ring caused more than $100,000 in losses to Lowe’s. In order to return Lowe’s items without a receipt, the conspirators used altered drivers licenses — changing one letter in the name and license number — so that the stores’ fraud detection systems would not be triggered with the multiple returns. However Lowe’s security was able to detect the activities of the ring and worked with the U.S. Secret Service and King County Sheriff’s Office detectives to investigate their activities.

The jury deliberated four hours before returning their verdict. 

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Hardware strategies: European style

BY Ken Clark

More than 2,700 exhibitors from more than 50 countries are planning to  show their products in Cologne, Germany, for the "Internationale Eisenwarenmesse" — or International Hardware Fair.

The tradeshow, which will take place March 4 to 7, is divided into four product categories: Tools; Industrial Supply; Fasteners & Fixings, Fittings; and Home Improvement. Attendees will find the latest product innovations and will be educated about new product trends and launches, according to show organizers.

New-generation products will include tool trolleys with optimized drawers and modified wheels and measurement instruments with laser rangefinders for more convenient operation. Other innovations include Allen key holders with a new clamping device that ensures that unused keys cannot fall out. One of the show’s highlights will be a radial tile cutting machine for large-format tiles with foldaway base frame and integrated wheels, saving storage. A wide range of new-generation cutting tools for floor coverings will be on display.

Retailers will also find new ideas for effective “Point of Sales” solutions, ranging form simple displays and modular systems to large shop-in-shop solutions.

 

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