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Retail Trends

Power Players Home Goods

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Despite the lingering effects of the housing crisis, there are some positive stories within the home goods sector.

Less than decade after its near-death experience, Pier 1 Imports has emerged as a power player: “Fiscal 2013 was another outstanding year for Pier 1 Imports,” CEO Alex W. Smith told shareholders this spring. “We delivered our 14th consecutive quarter of significant sales and profit growth, re-introduced our dividend and repurchased $100 million of Pier 1 Import’s stock.”

Bed Bath & Beyond rules the group and has maintained its position primarily through acquisition and expansion in the physical world. A year ago, the company acquired the 258-store Cost Plus World Market in addition to spending $243.4 million on capital projects that included opening 41 new stores in various formats. The company also consolidated all operations at headquarters in Union, N.J.

Williams-Sonoma is having success with “multiple brands across a wide range of demographics and aesthetics,” as CEO Laura Alber explains. IKEA, whose Swedish corporate parent will see a change of leadership in September when Mikael Ohlsson steps aside in favor of Peter Agnefjäll, plans to accelerate U.S. expansion to 20-25 stores a year.

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