Page 17 - Craftcil May & June 2017
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               The three living room specialists, No. 13 La-Z-Boy Furniture  Top retailers continue in
           Galleries, No. 80 Lovesac and No. 82 EBCO (a La-Z-Boy
           licensee), combined for a 1.7% sales increase to $1.21 billion  expansion mode
           and a 3.6% increase in store count.
                                                                     Just over half the companies on the Top 100 added at least
               Miscellaneous specialists No. 8 Big Lots and No. 60 Chair
                                                                 one store last year as most big chains have yet to be hurt by
           King/Fortunoff Backyard Stores grew sales by 5% for a
                                                                 the so-called “retail-apocalypse,”such as the mass closings by
           combined $1.49 billion in furniture, bedding and accessory
                                                                 department stores and other retailers finding it difficult to
           sales. Store count went down by 17 units at Big Lots and up by
                                                                 compete online.  Fifty-one Top 100 companies added to their
           three at Chair King/Fortunoff.
                                                                 net store counts, while only 10 dropped stores, and 55 either
               The conventional stores accounted for 54% of the Top  reported expansion plans or are known to have more growth in
           100’s total sales volume and 26% of the store count. Among  the works for this year or over the next couple of years.
           the standout sales performers is No. 66 Big Sandy Superstore,
                                                                     Mattress Firm expands, is sold and splits with a
           up 26.8% to $104 million in furniture, bedding and accessory
                                                                 key supplier. The No. 2 Top 100 company started early in the
           sales in 2016, for the second best sales increase among Top
           100 companies, behind Mattress Firm. No. 68 Wellsville Carpet  2016 calendar year with the acquisition of former Top 100
                                                                 Sleepy’s, adding roughly 1,050 stores with that buy and a net
           Town, an Ashley HomeStore licensee, had the next best sales
           gain, up 26.3% to $97.5 million and climbed 10 spots from its  1,227 stores for the year for the greatest jump in store count of
                                                                 any Top 100 company. The Houston-based retailer wound up
           No. 78 ranking last year.
                                                                 accounting for all but 277 stores of the Top 100’s combined
               Sales for No. 27 Living Spaces increased 20% to an
                                                                 1,504-store net growth.
           estimated $360 million and California competitor, No. 37
           Jerome’s, saw a 16.8% sales increase to $230.1 million. On the  In September, Mattress Firm was acquired by South African
           store growth side, No. 1 Ashley HomeStore led the     home furnishings retailer Steinhoff International for $3.8
                                                                 billion, and in the first quarter of this year, Tempur Sealy
           conventional stores with a net increase of 43 U.S. stores for a
           total of 558 at yearend. No. 44 Regency Furniture had the best  announced it was cutting its ties to the bedding specialty chain.
           percentage growth, up 36.4%, or eight stores, thanks largely to  It’s been a less than amicable split, as the two parties are
                                             its acquisition last  fighting in court over the terms of the divorce.
                                             year of former Top      Private equity makes a mark. The money flowing in
                                             100 company         from private equity sources has fueled furniture store
                                             Mealey’s Furniture.  expansion while other retail sectors have struggled to grow
                                             No. 20 Mathis       anywhere but online. No. 12 Bob’s Discount Furniture, owned
                                             Brothers was another  by Bain Capital, added a dozen stores last year, extending its
                                             top grower, with its  presence in Chicago. This year, the retailer pushed further west,
                                             store count up 31.8%  into Milwaukee and St. Louis  and is entering Indianapolis
                                             with the addition of  Memorial Day weekend.
                                             seven stores. No. 86
                                                                     In the first quarter of 2018, Bob’s plans to leap to the West
                                             FAMSA, the
                                                                 Coast with its first Los Angeles-area stores. Owned by Sun
                                             Dallasbased retailer
                                                                 Capital Partners, No. 73 FFO Home of Fort Smith, Ark., made
                                             serving the Hispanic
                                                                 good on CEO Larry Zigerelli’s contention that the private equity
                                             market, was a top
                                                                 firm’s backing would lead to accelerated expansion. The
                                             drag for conventional
                                                                 company opened five stores last year (including its first in
                                             stores with the only
                                                                 Texas), ending the year with 41 stores in five Mid-South states.
                                             double-digit sales
                                                                 Already this year, the promotional to mid-priced retailer has
                                             decline for the group,
                                                                 opened its first Mississippi store (in the greater Memphis, Tenn.,
                                             down 11.7% to $68
                                                                 market) and is likely to open a total of eight to 10 stores before
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