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Gust Family Ace store closes in Boulder

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Gust Family Enterprises, a Colorado-based Ace Hardware dealer, has closed its store in Boulder, owner Dan Gust confirmed.

Gust, who also owns stores in the Colorado towns of Longmont and Johnstown, said the Boulder store closed Sept. 21 after three and a half years.

“We’ve been in a number of different markets with our stores, but Boulder is a different market than we understood,” said Gust, who served on Ace’s board of directors from 1998 to 2007. “The things we do well just didn’t work in Boulder.”

Gust said his 13,000-square-foot store faced several obstacles in Boulder, where a Home Depot opened in 2006 and there was construction near the store recently. “But I can’t blame those things,” he said. “Had we understood the market better or put the store in a different spot, maybe we would have done better.”

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Williams-Sonoma cuts back on catalogs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Williams-Sonoma, parent of specialty home decor retailers Pottery Barn and West Elm, has cut back on catalog distribution by a third, according to executive vp and chief marketing officer Thomas Weisel.

Williams-Sonoma will reduce its catalog page count by 31 percent, and cut back its catalog circulation by 25 percent. The plan is expected to help save the retailer $40 million in marketing costs.

“We know that the pages we would have mailed would not have yielded a profitable return,” Connolly said. He said the company would increase its reliance on email marketing.

The company has trimmed its outlook as well in the face of a down economy.

According to Williams-Sonoma CEO Howard Lester, “It would be hard and insane actually to forecast positive comps in the fourth quarter, so we’re not going to do that. But we’re always optimistic. You have to be.”

“This is probably the worst I’ve seen it by far,” he added.

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Bed Bath & Beyond sales up 5 percent

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Union, N.J.-based Bed Bath & Beyond reported net earnings for the second quarter fell 19 percent to $119.3 million from $147 million in the prior-year quarter.

Still, the retailer saw net sales rise 5 percent to $1.85 billion from $1.77 billion in the same period last year.

Comparable-store sales were nearly flat in the quarter, decreasing 0.1 percent. In the first half of the year, comparable-store sales rose 0.3 percent.

The specialty retailer opened 13 stores in the second quarter, including a second store in Canada, following an entry into that country last quarter.

Currently, Bed Bath & Beyond operates 994 stores, including 903 stores under its namesake banner, as well as 41 Christmas Tree Shops stores, 10 Buy Buy Baby stores and 40 stores under the Harmon name. The company also operates two Home & More stores in Mexico.

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