LUMBERYARDS

Tile Shop under fire for allegations of inflated earnings

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Shortseller Gotham City Research claimed Thursday that Tile Shop Holdings had exaggerated its earnings in its most recent financial report.

The Nov. 14 report alleged that Beijing Pingxiu, the company’s largest supplier, is covertly run by Fumitake Nishi, who is the brother-in-law of Tile Shop CEO Robert Rucker as well as a Tile Shop employee. Gotham City claims that the undisclosed relationship, which it discovered through government trade data, has resulted in earnings that are overstated by more than 200%, taking inaccuracies into account that are related to inventories, cost of sales and gross profits. BP also allegedly sells at or near cost to the Tile Shop, resulting in an artificial cost advantage.

The Tile Shop released a formal statement denying these allegations, as well as the charge of transferring stock to BP, and confirmed its intentions to investigate the matter.

"The company negotiates all inventory purchases directly with each vendor," read the statement. "As is common practice, certain vendors utilize an export trading company, such as Beijing Pingxiu, for sales to U.S.-based companies. Other Chinese vendors maintain their own export licensing authority. The company has been made aware of changes of the ownership of Beijing Pingxiu, which were not previously disclosed to the company. As a result of this disclosure, the company has suspended its relationship with this entity."

The Tile Shop reaffirmed full-year sales guidance of $227 million to $237 million in the Nov. 14 statement, which were originally provided in the Oct. 30 financial earnings report.

At press time, shares of Tile Shop (TTS) had declined by nearly 39% to $12.95. Gotham City said it expected to profit from the decline in Tile Shop shares.

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Hunter Douglas donates $350,000 to Colorado flood relief

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Custom window coverings manufacturer Hunter Douglas has donated $350,000 to two nonprofits working to help those affected by the recent flooding in Colorado: Foothills Flood Relief Fund, a nonprofit run by Foothills United Way, and veteran service organization Team Rubicon.

President and CEO Mary Hopkins presented the donations to United Way president and CEO Mimi Vilord and Team Rubicon co-founder William McNulty at Hunter Douglas’ Pearl River headquarters.

"On behalf of all Hunter Douglas employees throughout North America, I am honored to present these donations to these two organizations that have been crucial to providing assistance to those affected by the Colorado flooding: the Foothills Flood Relief Fund, created by Foothills United Way in response to the devastation caused by the severe flooding in Boulder and Broomfield Counties, and Team Rubicon, which mobilized veteran volunteers to the area," Hopkins said.

The company matched donations from employees on a two-for-one basis: $115,000 was raised by Hunter Douglas employees, to which the company added another $235,000.

Several employees at the Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Division in Broomfield, Colo., were affected by the flooding.

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Jenn-Air expands 3-D rendering capabilities for interior designers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Jenn-Air has partnered with 20-20 Technologies, a maker of 3-D interior design and manufacturing software, to extend the capacity for interior designers to incorporate Jenn-Air appliances in their 3-D renderings.

Users of 20-20 Technologies can now select products from Jenn-Air’s appliance line to plan and conceptualize kitchens with realistic 3-D drawings.

"Successfully executing a project requires the ability to clearly communicate the design concept to clients," said kitchen and bath specialist Morton Block CMKBD, IIDA, CAPS. "Having the ability to incorporate a wide range of high-end appliances into a kitchen rendering in such a vivid way is a great planning tool that helps clients envision the final results."

Products ranging from Jenn-Air’s Pro-Style ranges to its built-in refrigerators are included in the Jenn-Air 20-20 catalog.

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