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Bombay Company sold; new owner to operate solely in Canada

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home decor retailer Bombay Company has been sold at auction in a deal that would see all the company’s U.S. assets liquidated, with operations continuing only in Canada. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Retail investment companies Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources won an auction for the home decor company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

Bombay said the two investment groups have proposed that Canadian retailers Bowring and Benix have agreed to help keep the Canadian Bombay stores open.

If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Ft. Worth, Texas, approves the deal, Bombay could start store closing sales as early as this week. Other Bombay assets, including its U.S. intellectual property rights and its real estate assets, are not part of the proposed transaction.

“This is a difficult day for Bombay in the United States,” said Bombay CEO David Stewart in a statement. “Over the coming weeks and months, our U.S.-based employees will work closely with [the investment groups] to prepare, stock and operate the stores during the holiday season.”

The company operates a total of 384 retail outlets in the United States and Canada.

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Flooring America launches shop-at-home service

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Flooring America and Flooring Canada, two of the carpet and flooring retail divisions of CCA Global Partners, has launched a new “Shop at Home” service, with the aim of better meeting what the company called “booming demand” from customers.

Customers will be able to view samples at home from a Flooring America representative. Each Shop at Home service will be backed by a local store – the company currently has about 580 member-owned retail locations in the United States and Canada.

The at-home program will feature the company’s full-range of carpet and hard flooring surfaces.

“This approach represents an important expansion of our business,” said Flooring America president Vinnie Virga. “We’re very excited to offer this new program, which will give customers a better way to shop at home.”

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Retailers release September sales figures

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Major retailers released sales figures for the month of September, with a particularly strong showing from membership warehouse club Costco.

• Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart reported comparable-store sales rose 1.4 percent, including a 4.4 percent gain at the company’s Sam’s Club stores. Net sales rose 9.7 percent to $34.4 billion from $31.4 billion in the same period last year.

• Comparable-store sales at Minneapolis-based Target rose 1.2 percent, while overall sales rose 6.2 percent to $5.2 billion from $4.9 billion in September 2006.

• Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco saw comparable-store sales rise a hearty 6 percent, while overall sales rose 9 percent to $6.05 billion from $5.53 billion last year.

In all, U.S. chain store sales increased by 1.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Abnormally warm weather negatively impacted apparel sales during the period, the group said.

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