Lumber Liquidators rues harsh winter
Lumber Liquidators blamed the unusually harsh winter for interruptions in its long purchase cycle during the first quarter of 2014, though sales still managed to increase 6.9% for the retailer.
Total sales came in at $246.3 million for the three months ended March 31, compared to $230.4 million last year. The company estimates that weather was to blame for an adverse impact on sales in as many as 135 of its 331 store loctaions, declining an average of 3.8%. In all other stores, sales increased 14.6%.
Net income didn’t fare quite so well, decreasing 13.2% to $13.7 million (compared to $15.8 million in year-ago terms).
"Like so many, our team was frustrated by the severity, scale and duration of the harsh winter and the adverse impact it had on our net sales," said CEO Robert Lynch. "Our customers generally follow a long purchase cycle, which we believe was either interrupted or completely suspended due to the unusually severe winter weather. However, as conditions generally became more seasonal in mid-March, customer demand increased. The key strategic initiatives we have implemented over the last two years have strengthened our operations, and we believe we are more capable than ever of serving customers who postponed their flooring purchase in the first quarter."
The company reiterated its full-year outlook for 2014, expecting net sales in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.20 billion, 35 to 40 new store locations in the expanded showroom format, and the remodeling of 25 to 30 existing stores in the expanded showroom format.
Products recalled over amputation hazards
Ariens is recalling its Sno-Tek Snow Throwers and All-Season Power Brushes due to amputation and laceration risks associated with the machines.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a drive pulley has displayed a tendency to crack while in use, which causes the auger/impeller or brush to continue to rotate after the clutch is disengaged.
The recall affects approximately 5,700 units, though no incidents or injuries have been reported.
Affected models include Ariens and Sno-Tek brand snow throwers and Ariens and Graveley brand power brushes.
The Ariens snow throwers are orange and 22 to 24 inches wide, while the Sno-Tek models are black and 20 to 28 inches wide. The Ariens power brush was sold in orange and the Gravely in red.
They were sold at Home Depot stores and other authorized Ariens dealers nationwide from January 2014 to February 2014 for between $500 and $2,200.
The CPSC is advising consumers to immediately discontinue use (and especially avoid putting their hands into the discharge chute) and contact Ariens for a free repair.
All products have model and serial numbers printed on a white label on the lower rear of the product, near the wheel. Click here for a detailed list of serial numbers.
Weyerhaeuser updates its Timberlands leadership team
Weyerhaeuser has reshuffled the leadership team of its Timberlands business unit.
In accordance with the changes, Rich Wininger will step into the role of VP business support, development and real estate. He has been serving as Weyerhaeuser’s VP Western Timberlands since 2005, later taking on oversight for the Canadian timberlands as well. Since joining the company in 1986, he held such roles as director of marketing, director of operations, regional operations manager, planning manager, special projects manager and business analyst.
Matt Williams has also been named VP Western Timberlands, replacing Wininger. He was most recently serving as the Southern Timberlands director of marketing and safety functional leader. He originally joined the company in 1977 as a forestry intern, succeeding through various roles such as raw materials manager, timberlands manager and procurement functional leader.
Lastly, Brad Kitselman is leaving his post as director of sales and marketing for Western Timberlands to become the company’s new VP timberlands sales and marketing. He has held various other positions in Western Timberlands, including area marketing team leader, environmental management systems manager, regional team leader, export coordinator and scaling manager, contract harvest manager and timber sale administration. He has been with the company since 1978, joining initially as a forester.
"Rich, Matt and Brad each bring tremendous experience, skill and leadership to their new roles," said Rhonda Hunter, SVP Timberlands. "I look forward to the significant contributions they will continue to make to drive results for our Timberlands business."