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Grand Home Furnishings to acquire four Big Sandy stores in W.Va.

ROANOKE, Va. — Grand Home Furnishings here is expanding its West Virginia presence with the acquisition of four John Eye's Big Sandy Superstores in the state.

The deal is expected to close in August. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Top 100 store Grand is buying showrooms in Beckley, Lewisburg, Princeton and Summersville, W.Va., ranging from about 28,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet, said Randy Lundy, Grand's chief financial officer.

In Beckley and Lewisburg, where Grand currently has stores, it will consolidate the businesses - moving to the larger John Eye's store in Beckley, and consolidating the John Eye's operation in Lewisburg into the approximately 30,000-square-foot Grand showroom.

The John Eye's locations in Princeton and Summersville, along with the Beckley location, will become Grand Home Furnishings this fall.

Lundy called the acquisition "a tremendous opportunity to expand our business and grow our market." He said that Grand will hire an additional 65 to 70 employees with this expansion.

While there is some merchandising overlap between the two chains, the new stores will undergo some changes. Among Grand's key suppliers are La-Z-Boy, Kincaid, Tempur-Pedic and Sealy, all of which will be featured in the new stores.

The John Eye's stores operate as part of the Franklin Furnace, Ohio-based Big Sandy Superstore chain, with stores in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. None of Big Sandy's other locations are affected.

John Eye's opened its first store in1939 in Beckley, later adding the three other locations and then merging with Big Sandy in 1996.

In a press release, longtime retailer John Eye, who operated the family business and is now retiring, said he is pleased that his stores will transition to Grand Home Furnishings, also a family business operated now by third-generation family members.

No 50 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated 2012 sales of $120.8 million, Grand operates 17 stores in Virginia, eastern Tennessee and West Virginia. The acquisition will add a net two stores to that number.

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