• Andrea Lillo

Tuesday Morning looking to double stores

Company believes it can grow to 1,000 units

Event-based discount retailer Tuesday Morning feels that in view of the favorable value-oriented market, it can double its store base to more than 1,000 stores, up from its year end total of 577.

It is underpenetrated in the Northeast, said Loren Jensen, chief financial officer, executive vice president, but there "are opportunities coast to coast." California, one of the retailer's denser states with 72 stores, could add more, for example.

Small markets — where perhaps the only department store there closed as department-store retailers generally pulled back — are other areas ripe for its format, he added.

Its low-cost operating model can fit it in many destination spots, but "you will never see us on the end cap in a shopping center," Jensen told attendees at SG Cowen's Consumer Conference last week. "We manage our real estate dollar very carefully."

Requiring only $95,000 for fixturing and start up costs, and $135,000 for net inventory, a new store will reap a 70 percent return on investment within a year.

Now with its central distribution center in Dallas — it previously eliminated its 16 regional DCs — it believes its system can support up to 1,000 stores.

With sales and profits divided equally among its three segments — hard home, home decor, which includes rugs, and soft home — the retailer plans to push brand names more.

It also has increased the frequency of store shipments over the past year.

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