La-Z-Boy continues aggressive growth strategy
MONROE, Mich. — If anything, La-Z-Boy’s latest conference call highlighting its Q1 results shows the company is continuing its aggressive growth strategies, particularly on the retail side of its business.
During the call, President and CEO Melinda Whittington noted the company’s closing of the acquisition of five La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery stores in the Denver market and the opening of two new retail locations for Joybird in San Francisco and Austin.
To many in the industry, such developments might seemed ill-timed, given some of the uncertainties about the economy and consumer spending moving forward. Slow moving goods certainly have been an issue for many retailers of late, especially those still trying to clear through still-high inventory levels.
Indeed, Whittington noted that “the pace of store traffic has slowed for our industry broadly, likely a reflection of both a return to historical seasonality and lower consumer sentiment due to macroeconomic and geopolitical concerns and uncertainty,” she said during the call, noting that La-Z-Boy’s written same-store sales for company owned stores fell 15% for the fiscal first quarter while same-store sales for the entire network fell 14%.
In fact, the company anticipates lower written business during the second quarter for both its direct-to-consumer business and among its wholesale customers as they “manage fluctuating consumer demand and adjust their inventories accordingly,” said Bob Lucian, chief financial officer, noting that a number of customers on the wholesale side in particular have temporarily delayed receiving product due to warehouse constraints. “This will continue to impact delivered sales on our wholesale segment in Q2.”