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El Dorado to expand Pembroke Pines store

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - El Dorado Furniture will expand and remodel its store here, making it the Top 100 company's largest Boulevard format showroom.
     The Miami Gardens, Fla.-based retailer will add 35,000 square feet to the store for a total of 145,000 square feet, said Pedro Capo, chief operating officer. The project, an estimated $4.5 million investment, also includes a complete remodel of the existing showroom.
     Work on the Pines Boulevard store is set to begin Dec. 5 and will be completed by October or November of next year, Capo said. He added that the work will be done in stages and the showroom will remain open during construction.
     He would not disclose the sales increase El Dorado expects from the overhauled and expanded location.
     Despite continuing tough economic conditions, El Dorado's sales this year could finish up 14% or 15% over 2010, while same-store sales will probably increase 8% to 10%, Capo said.
     "The moment is right" for expansion, he said, adding that El Dorado has kept up a steady but measured growth pace despite the economic turmoil. Early last year, the company grand opened a 46,000-square-foot store in West Palm Beach, Fla., and remodeled another store.
     "We're gearing up to make sure when the economy turns around ... that we're ready for it," he said.
     Capo added that El Dorado has made internal improvements that are paying off, including a greater focus on sales training, improvements to back-end operations and work on increasing close ratios. The closing of the higher-end Florida chain Robb & Stucky this year also was probably a small factor in El Dorado's success, he said, as some highend customers traded down.
     El Dorado is No. 42 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated furniture, bedding and accessories sales last year of $131.5 million, up 4.2% from the year before.

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