Design Within Reach sees higher sales
Specialty retailer Design Within Reach swung to a fourth-quarter gain, a stronger performance for the company that saw recent losses and stiff competition in the crowded home furnishings and decor sector.
Earnings for the fourth quarter were $2.27 million, swinging from a loss of $1.99 million in the same period last year. Sales for the quarter were $51.99 million, up 3.4 percent from $50.27 million in the prior-year period.
For the full year, the company recorded earnings of $323,000, swinging from a loss in the previous year of $8.29 million. Sales for 2007 were $193.94 million, up 8.9 percent from $178.14 million in the same period last year.
“We are very pleased with our 2007 performance, which marks a significant milestone in Design Within Reach’s turnaround,” said Ray Brunner, CEO. “Achieving annual profitability is the culmination of 18 months of controlling expenses and improving margins.”
Design Within Reach, headquartered in San Francisco, is a multichannel retailer with 65 studios across the United States.
IKEA opens to fanfare in Cincinnati
Few retailers are able to generate as much excitement around a store opening as Sweden-based IKEA, exemplified by the crowds at a grand opening of the company’s first Ohio store near Cincinnati yesterday.
The opening of the store, based in West Chester, Ohio, included costumed dancers and singers from the Swedes of Greater Cincinnati, and several door prizes, including gift cards and merchandise. Security officials were turning some shoppers away, who then circled the store until they could get inside, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Some customers staked out the store “for nearly 48 hours — the maximum allowed by the store,” explained the Indianapolis Star.
According to the Oxford (Ohio) Press, an estimated 10,000 customers entered the store in the first hour after its 9 a.m. grand opening.
The new IKEA store features three model homes, 50 room settings, a supervised children’s play area and a 300-seat restaurant.
Other Ikea retail locations in the Midwest include stores in Bloomington, Minn.; Schaumburg, Ill.; and Canton, Mich., a location that opened just two months ago.
Sears Holdings taps Meijer exec for operations job
Sears Holdings has announced that Kevin Holt, 49, will take on the role of executive vp-store operations.
The store operations group is one of five new “umbrella” units the company is creating as part of a reorganization process — the others are brands, real estate, support and online.
Holt most recently served as executive vp-retail operations at multichannel big-box retailer Meijer, where he worked for 13 years. He has been with Sears since September 2007 as senior vp and chief effectiveness officer.
Most recently, Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings reported net income and sales down for the fourth quarter and year ended Feb. 1.
For the quarter, the company reported net income of $426 million, down 47.5 percent from $811 million in the prior-year quarter. Net sales were $15.1 billion, down 6.8 percent from $16.1 billion from the previous year.