Welco Lumber closes mill in Washington
Welco Lumber has closed its Marysville, Wash.-based mill and laid off 57 workers, according to the (Everett, Wash.) Daily Herald newspaper. The newspaper said the mill is expected to close for an indefinite period of time.
The lumber company is a major manufacturer of Western red cedar picket fences. The company has headquarters in Tumwater, Wash., and additional facilities in Shelton, Wash., and Naples, Idaho.
Welco Lumber said poor market conditions were responsible for the closure.
The company distributes its products, which also include rails and posts, decking, siding and panels, to major retailers in the United States.
CEO of California tool company dies
Walter Kopala Jr., president and CEO of Thorsen Tool, died after a long battle with cancer, according to a statement released by the Ontario, Calif.-based company.
In its statement, the company said Kopala “will be succeeded by his friend and associate Randall L. Wright,” who currently serves as COO and interim CEO.
Thorsen Tool manufactures hand tools and is a corporate affiliate of Amarillo Hardware, based in Amarillo, Texas.
Williams-Sonoma earnings down 27 percent
Williams-Sonoma saw net revenue increase 4.1 percent in the second quarter to $859.4 million from $825.5 million in last year’s second quarter.
Second-quarter earnings fell 27 percent after the company made major price reductions on products at Pottery Barn stores. Earnings were $26 million in the second quarter, compared with $35.6 million last year.
Pottery Barn saw comparable-store sales rise 1.8 percent in the second quarter. The high-end home decor chain had sputtered in recent quarters, including in last year’s second quarter when comparable-store sales fell 0.2 percent.
“What was particularly encouraging about these results was the strong performance of our emerging brands and the improving trend we saw in Pottery Barn, which we believe was driven by early successes in the rollout of our Pottery Barn revitalization initiatives,” said Howard Lester, chairman and CEO of Williams-Sonoma. Lester said the second-quarter results were “better than expected.”
In its other retail concepts, comp-store sales rose 1.1 percent at kitchen products retailer Williams-Sonoma and 9 percent at the company’s outlet stores. Comp-store sales fell 3.8 percent at Pottery Barn Kids stores.
Williams-Sonoma’s strong catalog and e-commerce sectors showed further growth, with a 2.8 percent increase in direct-to-customer net revenue, to $372.4 million from $362.2 million last year. Internet revenue increased 11.1 percent to $237.4 million compared with $213.8 million last year.
Williams-Sonoma operates 580 stores under the banners Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma Home. The company also has seven mail order catalogs and six e-commerce Web sites.