furniture and home: January 2009 Archives

Old and local stores

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The economic downturn is hitting local stores especially hard. Saddest among those affected are the decades-old establishments, many involved in housing and home goods, suddenly facing bankruptcy or liquidation.

Some recent changes of note:

Home Depot killing Expo

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Home Depot has decided to shut down EXPO, its high-end interior decoration chain. The company is closing all 34 stores as well as five YardBIRDS stores, a small-store format it launched earlier this decade. Home Depot CEO Frank Blake called EXPO "not a strong business" and a resource drain. Home Depot does have 12 store openings planned for 2009 in a modest recessionary expansion.

Illuminations goes dark

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Candle and gift retailer Yankee Candle is eliminating its Illuminations retail chain as part of a corporate restructuring. Illuminations, a candle and home decorating line, was purchased by Yankee Candle in 2006. The Illuminations brand name may continue in wholesale and catalog options.

Yankee Candle is also closing one additional store under the Yankee Candle name. Plans for new store openings are not affected.

Cost Plus

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Home goods retailer Cost Plus is closing 26 stores and cutting back its media plan in 2009. The moves are a reaction to weak holiday sales. Cost Plus is expected to be fiscally sound as a result of the move, which is an upbeat note in the economic environment.

Oneida outlets

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Flatware maker Oneida is closing all 20 of its retail outlet stores in the United States. Oneida, a global leader in flatware dating to the 1880s, will exit the flatware business entirely following inventory clearance sales. The company is instead focusing on its other, more profitable divisions and the marketing of imported flatware.

Waterford Wedgwood

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Legendary crystal and ceramics manufacturer Waterford Wedgwood was placed into administration and receivership in the United Kingdom and Ireland yesterday. The move, similar to chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, reflects stock market conditions and a failed round of fundraising for a planned restructuring.

Waterford Crystal, which dates to 1783, has been operating in its modern guise since 1947; Wedgwood (which traces its own history to 1759) was purchased by the previous Waterford Glass Group in 1986. The company's US and other subsidiaries are not currently affected by the moves in the UK and Ireland. Three US firms are discussing financial options for the company today.

Timely Demise tracks the retail industry as it changes with our unprecedented economic environment. By David Wertheimer. Did I miss something? Drop me a line.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the furniture and home category from January 2009.

furniture and home: December 2008 is the previous archive.

furniture and home: February 2009 is the next archive.

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