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UPDATE: Steve Giordano leaves RoomPlace to become CEO of RoomStore

Curtis Kimbrell retires as CEO of Richmond-based retailer

Heath E. Combs -- Furniture Today, November 9, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. — Steve Giordano has left his CEO post at The RoomPlace and has been appointed CEO and a board member at The RoomStore here, replacing Curtis Kimbrell.

 Steve GiordanoSteve Giordano

Kimbrell has retired from Richmond-based The RoomStore, said Steve Gidumal, a member of the company's board of directors. He said Giordano begins today.

Kimbrell has been president and CEO of RoomStore since 2001.

"We've brought (Giordano) in to execute a turnaround of the store chain and restore it to the greatness that this chain is," said Gidumal, who is also president of Orlando, Fla.-based private investment company Virtus Capital.

Gidumal said Giordano has strong support among the RoomStore's board and senior management. Prior to joining Lombard, Ill.-based The RoomPlace last year, Giordano was chief operating officer of The RoomStore.

He also is a former chief operating officer of importer Powell and of Kane Furniture, the Pinellas Park, Fla.-based Top 100 company.

Giordano will be responsible for merchandising strategy and store operations, Gidumal said.


The RoomStore said in an SEC filing that Giordano has a three-year employment agreement. He will receive a base salary of $400,000 and a signing bonus of $75,000 and other benefits provided to company executives.
Brian Wiborg, vice president of marketing for The RoomPlace, said Joseph Connolly, current chief financial officer, will become acting CEO.

"There is not a sale on the table today. The company is out there looking for ways to strengthen the financial health of the company," Wiborg said.

Giordano, who was unavailable at press time, replaced longtime CEO Bruce Berman in 2010. Berman's family founded The RoomPlace, then known as Harlem Furniture, here in 1950 and then sold the company to an investor group in 2004.

Furniture/Today reported last year that the RoomPlace was owned by private equity firms Pouschine Cook Capital Management, Bear Growth Capital Partners and Altamont Capital.

The RoomStore operates full-line furniture stores primarily in Virginia, Maryland the Carolinas and Texas, as well as the Mattress Discounters bedding specialty chain in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware and Alabama.

Last month, The RoomStore announced it was closing two full-line stores, two clearance centers and a distribution center, which it says is part of continuing efforts to cut expenses in a weak sales environment.

When the recent closings are complete, RoomStore will have about 60 full-line stores. It also owns 65% of the 83-store Mattress Discounters bedding chain.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the publicly held company estimated that it will report a net loss of $3.4 million for its fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 31, and a $3.1 million operating loss on net sales of $70.6 million. That compares with a net loss of $65,000, and an operating gain of $111,000, on net sales of $91.9 million for the same period a year earlier.

RoomStore is No. 19 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 with estimated 2010 sales of $329.5 million at 146 stores.

The RoomPlace is No. 39 with estimated 2010 sales of $160 million at 23 stores primarily in greater Chicago but also in Rockford, Ill., Indianapolis and Mishawaka, Ind.

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