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Jay McIntosh News Editor Hi! I’m Jay McIntosh, news editor at Furniture/Today, and it’s my job to keep track of the issues and events of the day. I’ll use this space to offer comments or insights that I hope will bring something new to the table. I welcome your responses and suggestions.
As OJ Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran might have said, the CEO may go, but the brand will stand.That's what I'm hoping if I'm a retailer, rep, designer, trucker or anyone else whose livelihood depends on the products under the Furniture Brands International umbrella. FBI is in the process of selling off Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville and its other brands, some of which have been around for decades. (s... Read MoreComments (5)
This is an update of the blog I posted yesterday, in which I was skeptical of Jim Cramer's suggestion that Furniture Brands International could be a takeover target, maybe by Masco.Turns out that's not what Cramer said. I finally was able to watch the video, and he's clearly talking about Fortune Brands, a different company. The summary of the video on the CNBC site, however, said Furniture Brands... Read MoreComments (3)
Remember the old San Francisco Mart? I miss the strolls through the Tenderloin from our hotel to the market buildings (dodging the occasional drunk and panhandler), the morning runs up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower and its spectacular view of the Bay, and eating at that great dim sum restaurant in the financial district.Now it sounds like the landscape is changing for the old Mart district. My frie... Read MoreComments (4)
Furniture Brands International executives Ralph Scozzafava and Steve Rolls assured securities analysts in a conference call Thursday morning that the company would have positive free cash flow next year. This proved to be not very assuring at all to many investors, who sold off the stock in droves that day and sent its share price down more than 25%. Furniture Brands, the largest U.S. publicly hel... Read MoreComments (9)
I just read about a couple of brand extensions that surprised me a little but make sense when you think about them.Biltmore, the Asheville, N.C.-based company that manages the Biltmore Estate and has licensed lines of home furnishings and other products based on the huge and lavish home, is getting into the party business with Biltmore Inspirations. As its press release says, "Biltmore Inspir... Read MoreComments (11)
It looks like those furniture importers were on to something when they said they didn’t expect anything dramatic to happen to the value of China’s currency anytime soon. This past Saturday, the U.S. government said it was delaying a report that could have spurred more debate, if not action, on the issue. People watching the situation were anxious to see if the Treasury report was going to label Ch... Read MoreComments (2)
I just finished Mike Dugan’s book “Furniture Wars: How America Lost a Fifty Billion Dollar Industry” and I highly recommend it. Not to find out why Asia makes most of our wood furniture these days. That’s a two-word answer: Lower costs. No, what’s really interesting about “Furniture Wars” is its blow-by-blow account of the decades of infighting in the executive suites of many of the industry’s lar... Read MoreComments (7)
Most furniture stocks are enjoying price gains today, probably thanks to this morning’s report of higher consumer confidence. Retailers Pier 1 Imports, Cost Plus World Market and Havertys were all up more than 10% as of about 2:45 p.m. Eastern time. Manufacturer and retailer Select Comfort also was up close to 16% after a private equity fund said it would buy just over half the shares of the airbe... Read MoreComments (2)
Pier 1 Imports’ stock has gone from doormat to darling in two days. It rose 275% Monday and is still climbing today. All this after an evidently successful move to shore up its balance sheet by selling some debt to an overseas subsidiary, and a report by industry analyst Budd Bugatch of Raymond James that, in his opinion, the Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer now looks strong enough to survive the... Read MoreComments (2)
Furniture/Today columnist Jerry Epperson wrote a piece a few weeks ago lamenting the fact that he could either supersize his fast-food meal or for the same money, buy shares of stock in several furniture manufacturers or retailers. His point: Many of the stocks of our industry’s publicly held companies are way undervalued. This raises an interesting question. Even in this era of tight credit, I wo... Read MoreComments (2)
President Obama’s latest, and hopefully last, choice for Commerce secretary has something in common with the furniture industry — close ties to China. Former two-term Washington Gov. Gary Locke is the son of Chinese immigrants and is the only Chinese American ever to become a governor. In the four years since he left office, he has led the China practice of a Seattle law firm, according to a New Y... Read MoreComments (0)
Here’s a message I think we’ll hear on our voicemail sometime in the next six months: Greetings from the Federal Bailout Administration. We have taken the U.S. furniture industry’s request for a bailout under advisement. In case you are unfamiliar with Washington-speak, that means we are sitting on it, buddy. Your chance of getting a bailout is about as good as the chance that your government will... Read MoreComments (3)