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Pier 1 narrows losses

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pier 1 Imports recorded second-quarter losses of $40.38 million, an improvement from losses of $61.24 million in last year’s second quarter. Sales were down 7 percent to $344.6 million from $370.7 million last year.

Comparable-store sales, which exclude recently closed Pier 1 Kids stores, clearance stores and e-commerce, declined 3.6 percent for the quarter.

President and CEO Alex Smith said the narrower losses showed positive results from initiatives to simplify the company’s core home decor business and drive down costs.

“We know that if we continue to focus on execution of our six business priorities, we will be able to reverse five years of deteriorating trends and return to profitability and beyond,” Smith said. “As we head into the very important holiday selling season, our energies are concentrated on generating sales with sustainable, normalized margins.”

To further cut costs and revitalize its brand image, Pier 1 plans to further liquidate products and introduce more holiday merchandise and bath and body products.

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Boise relocates distribution center

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Boise Building Materials Distribution (BBMD), a division of Boise Cascade, has announced the relocation of its distribution center to Auburn, Ga., from Tucker, Ga.

The new 155,000-square-foot, 38-acre facility includes rail service and 18 acres of paved inventory storage. The facility also includes a 12,000-square-foot office space. All 41 employees from the former distribution center facility have relocated to the newly opened center, according to the company.

“The move allows us to be more efficient and to continue growing our sales and customer service in the Atlanta market, and enhances our core value of safety for our employees,” said Stan Bell, senior vp-BBMD.

Ron Lee, BBMD branch manager, said the larger site helps improve efficiency and daily handling of materials. OThe larger space means we can offer a wider variety of products unique to the southern building market,O he said.

According to Boise, this is the third new or relocated facility BBMD has opened since January 2006.

BBMD is a wholesale distributor of building materials with 31 distribution branches in the United States.

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Lowe’s announces plans for Canada

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lowe’s will open its first three stores in Canada the week of Dec. 10, according to a statement from the Mooresville, N.C.-based retailer.

Lowe’s plans to open the three stores — the first of six stores expected to open during fiscal 2007 — in Brantford, Hamilton and Brampton. A Toronto store is slated to open in late January.

Lowe’s plans 18 additional sites in Canada.

“Lowe’s Toronto management team has been working hard for nearly two years to open the first of many stores we plan for Canada,” said Don Stallings, president of Lowe’s Canada. “These first openings illustrate our steadfast focus on delivering an outstanding shopping experience, including the best prices, products and service to our new Canadian customers.”

The company opened its Toronto office in 2006, and on Sept. 15, Lowe’s began holding hiring fairs for Canadian store employees.

Lowe’s currently operates more than 1,425 stores in 49 U.S. states.

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