Sales increase at Simpson Manufacturing
Fastener maker Simpson Manufacturing Co. reported net sales of $130.7 million for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, a 9.3% increase over sales of $119.6 million for the same quarter of 2010. The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company had income, net of tax, of $4.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to a loss, net of tax, of $4.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, sales increased throughout North America and most of Europe. Sales increased in all regions of the United States, with above-average increases in California and the western regions, as compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. Sales in Asia and Australia, although relatively small, increased as compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. Sales to contractor distributors, dealer distributors, lumber dealers and home centers increased. The sales increase was broad-based across most of the company’s major product lines as compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, although sales of shearwalls decreased.
For 2011, net sales increased 8.6% to $603.4 million compared to net sales of $555.5 million for 2010. The company reported income, net of tax, of $50.9 million for 2011 compared to income, net of tax, of $44.8 million for 2010.
In December 2011, Simpson purchased certain assets and liabilities of Fox Industries, Inc., for $8.7 million. Fox Industries is a manufacturer of construction products and systems to repair, protect and strengthen concrete. The acquisition will help the company to expand its product offerings in the commercial, industrial and infrastructure construction markets. Also in December 2011, the company purchased the assets of Automatic Stamping, LLC for $42.5 million. Automatic Stamping is a manufacturer of a line of truss plates. In January 2012, the Company purchased 100% of the equity of S&P Clever Reinforcement Company AG and S&P Reinforcement International AG for $56.5 million. S&P Clever manufactures and sells engineered materials for repair, strengthening and restoration of concrete, asphalt and masonry construction and has operations throughout Europe.
Container Store expands to six new locations
The Container Store, a specialty retailer in home organization solutions, has announced six new locations in the United States, including its first foray into Las Vegas and Long Island. It will bring the company’s store count to 59 by the end of 2012.
The new stores will be located in Arlington, Texas; Las Vegas; El Segundo, Calif.; Peabody, Mass.; and Westbury, N.Y., with a sixth location still being finalized. For each new store, The Container Store will partner with a local nonprofit that will receive 10% of its grand opening weekend sales as part of the retailer’s commitment to give back to its local communities.
In addition to store expansion, some of The Container Store’s other strategic initiatives for 2012 include a Dallas-area test of its new ATHome program, which will bring the retailer’s expertise and product knowledge into its customers’ homes. No further details were given on the initiative.
The Arlington, Texas, store will open on Sat., March 3 and occupy 23,056 sq. ft. in Arlington Highlands. This will be the retailer’s seventh location in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, where the company was founded in 1978.
The Las Vegas store, the first in Nevada, will open May 12 and occupy 22,000 sq. ft. in the Las Vegas Town Square.
The El Segundo, Calif., store will open June 16 and occupy 22,000 sq. ft. in Plaza El Segundo. This will be the retailer’s fourth Los Angeles location.
The Peabody, Mass. store will open fall 2012 and occupy 24,000 sq. ft. alongside the Northshore Mall. This will mark the retailer’s third location in the greater Boston area, as it currently has stores in Natick and Chestnut Hill.
The Westbury, N.Y., store will open fall 2012 and occupy 24,000 sq. ft. in the Gallery at Westbury Plaza. This will be the retailer’s fourth location in the state of New York, as it currently operates a store in White Plains and two Manhattan locations (Sixth Ave. between 18th and 19th and at 58th and Lexington).
The details for the sixth store opening are currently being finalized and will be released upon completion.
Retail theft ring that targeted Lowe’s convicted
Two members of a retail theft ring charged with stealing more than $100,000 worth of merchandise from Lowe’s stores in five western states were convicted of multiple felony counts by a federal jury in the western district of Washington State.
Leonard Hollingsworth and Larsell Hollingsworth were found guilty on all counts of the indictment, including 15 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Case. The men will be sentenced on May 11, 2012.
Seven members of the conspiracy were originally charged, but five pled guilty prior to trial and most will be sentenced later this year.
According to court records and testimony at trial, members of the conspiracy would steal items, such as expensive faucets, from Lowe’s stores by placing them in large boxes for sinks or toilets. The conspirators would leave the store paying only the lower price for the sink or toilet. Later on, the shoplifters would return the stolen items to different Lowe’s stores throughout Arizona, Oregon, California, Oklahoma and Washington in exchange for gift cards. Members of the conspiracy then sold the gift cards for cash.
The theft ring caused more than $100,000 in losses to Lowe’s. In order to return Lowe’s items without a receipt, the conspirators used altered drivers licenses — changing one letter in the name and license number — so that the stores’ fraud detection systems would not be triggered with the multiple returns. However Lowe’s security was able to detect the activities of the ring and worked with the U.S. Secret Service and King County Sheriff’s Office detectives to investigate their activities.
The jury deliberated four hours before returning their verdict.