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Sales up 25 percent at Lumber Liquidators

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lumber Liquidators, the specialty retailer of hardwood flooring, saw net income nearly double to $4.3 million from $2.23 million in the first quarter. Sales rose 25 percent to $114.55 million from $92 million in the same period last year.

“We are very pleased with our strong results in the first quarter and our ability to maintain the positive momentum we experienced in the second half of last year,” said Jeffrey Griffiths, president and CEO. “We are pleased with the strong contributions of new stores that we have opened in the last year as their results are exceeding our expectations.”

So far this year, Lumber Liquidators has opened 15 new stores — one each in Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas; and two each in Illinois and Pennsylvania. The Toano, Va.-based company said it maintains plans to open 30 to 40 new stores in 2008.

The company currently operates more than 130 stores in the United States.

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Wal-Mart Canada pays out record bonuses

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wal-Mart Canada store associates are marking a successful fiscal 2007 by sharing a record $45.4 million in bonus payments, based on company and store goals, according to the retailer.

“This represents the company’s greatest bonus payout in its 14-year history,” the retailer said in a statement.

Wal-Mart Canada began a bonus program in 1994 when the retailer took over the country’s Woolco stores. This year, 242 of 299 stores nationwide paid bonuses to eligible part- and full-time associates under the program — “an average reward was nearly $1,000,” according to the company.

“In keeping with a policy of open communication, Wal-Mart store management shares detailed sales and profitability progress figures with store associates daily,” the statement said. “This year’s record bonus payment reflects Wal-Mart Canada’s success in a year in which it responded to significant industry challenges”

Successful initiatives included responding quickly to the higher Canadian dollar with lower prices and keeping stores opened “around the clock” in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Pricing and operational strategies, the continued growth of our supercentre program, marketing campaigns promoting our price leadership and many other factors brought customers to our stores last year,” said Jim Thompson, Wal-Mart Canada’s senior vp-operations. “However, it was our store associates that delivered a phenomenal performance in a tough year for retail.”

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Menards plans new southern Ohio location

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Menards plans to build a new 144,107-square-foot store in Hamilton, Ohio, according to a report in the Oxford (Ohio) Press.

The Menards store is in the initial stages of zoning approval in Fairfield Township, Ohio. Current plans call for the Menards to anchor a 52.8-acre shopping center.

According to the report, the retailer was eyeing a smaller site, but halted that plan because of annexation issues between two local municipalities. The new store is “35 percent larger” than in that previous plan.

Ohio has been a growth spot for the big-box retailer — other new stores in the state are located in Mansfield, Lancaster and Marion.

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