Tembec curtails lumber production
Temiscaming, Quebec-based Tembec has announced it will curtail sawmill production at two British Columbia locations – Elko and Canal Flats.
The company will shut down the two plants for two weeks, once in early October and another in early November, according to a statement, due to soft demand for lumber products in the United States.
In turn, the shutdowns will “force reduction in production” at the company’s finger joint facility in Cranbrook, B.C. for four weeks. The company also will cease operations at the end of October in Cochrane, Ontario, for a five-month period.
“These shutdowns are a consequence of the prolonged downturn in the U.S. housing market and the directly related impact on the demand and price for lumber,” said Dennis Rounsville, executive vp and president of Tembec’s Forest Products Group. “With these market conditions expected to continue for the next several quarters, we need to act responsibly and adjust our production levels to current and foreseen market demand for lumber.”
Williams-Sonoma cuts back on catalogs
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.
Bed Bath & Beyond sales up 5 percent
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.