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EBCO to open new La-Z-Boy store

 Image of Ed BreunigEd Breunig

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Independent La-Z-Boy store dealer EBCO will open a new 11,000-square-foot store here next year, its first under the La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings and Décor new store format.

The 10-store, Phoenix-based La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries operator, a Top 100 company, acquired a former office building and 0.64-acre parcel on East Camel Back Road this month for the store, its second in Scottsdale. Real estate firm Velocity Retail Group represented EBCO in the $2.8 million transaction, according to a release.

EBCO expects to invest more than $4 million in the project, with plans to tear down the existing building and build from scratch, said Ed Breunig, EBCO president.

The store, slated to open at the end of March, will replace a slightly smaller La-Z-Boy showroom in Phoenix on Thomas Road, the street on which the retailer opened its first store in 1982.

Breunig said a La-Z-Boy study estimates the store should do between $4.5 million to $5 million in annual sales, which would be an increase of just less than $2 million over the store it's replacing.

EBCO is No 84 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated 2012 sales of $59.2 million, up 12.1% from the year before. It operates six La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores and one La-Z-Boy Bedrooms and Dining store in the greater Phoenix market as well as La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries in Tucson and Flagstaff, Ariz.

"We're very optimistic about the new format," Breunig said. "There are a few built around the country now and they're performing well."

Breunig added that it was time for EBCO to "freshen things up," noting that it has been 12 or 13 years since La-Z-Boy came out with the New Generation format that preceded the latest concept.

Monroe, Mich.-based La-Z-Boy has said the newest format, among other things, is designed to reflect the company's marketing message, show off the depth of the company's product offering and lead to higher ticket sales. The interior design is more youthful and modern, plays up the company's custom capabilities and gives retailers more display flexibility than the older format.

Breunig said the best thing about the new format is the flow of the store and the interior signage, both of which make the store easier to shop and a give the consumers "a more fulfilling experience."

EBCO received approval to remodel its North Scottsdale location to the new format, too, but the timing of the work hasn't been determined yet.

Breunig said business has been "really good" this year, with its fiscal-year sales up double digits from the previous year's double-digit gains, despite flat traffic.

"I believe the consumer's confidence combined with a strong La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries brand and a commitment to service has increased our ability to turn shoppers into buyers," he said.

"Our merchandise lineup is as strong as it has been in years, so the stores look great. Also, my people are working hard on improvement of our processes and our service at the point of sale. Business is good and about to get better."

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