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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On August 29, 2014, it was reported, fast-growing Mattress Firm, already the nation's biggest bedding retail chain, has agreed to acquire Top 100 retailer Bedding Experts, which operates 135 stores under the Mattress Barn, Back to Bed and Bedding Experts names. Most of the stores are in the Chicago and Orlando metro areas, and it will mark Mattress Firm's debut in the Chicago market. Mattress Firm said the purchase price is approximately $60 million and is subject to customary closing conditions. The retailer expects to close the transaction by the end of its third fiscal quarter in late October, and said it will be funded by cash reserves and borrowings from its revolving credit line.
    • On August 28, 2014, it was reported that two veteran La-Z-Boy executives have been named executive officers of the company and given additional responsibilities. The company said Doug Collier and Darrell Edwards have been named senior vice presidents of La-Z-Boy Inc. In addition, Collier has been named chief marketing officer and president of international operations, and Edwards has been named chief supply chain officer.
    • On August 26, 2014, it was reported, Norman Coley Sr., 52, president of upholstery manufacturer Lee Inds., died unexpectedly on Saturday, Aug. 23. Born May 27, 1962 to Bill and Dottie Coley, the founders of Lee Inds., he graduated with an engineering degree from North Carolina State University. Coley joined Lee Inds. in 1998 as a sales rep for the territories of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. He returned to Conover in 1995 and advanced to the position of company president.
    • On August 25, 2014, it was reported, Ann Inc. is being urged to explore options, including a sale, by activist investor Engine Capital and Red Alder. The two firms, who collectively own more than 1% of the outstanding shares of Ann Inc., are publicly urging the company to sell at a substantial premium above current stock price. In an open letter to the retailer's board of directors, Engine Capital and Red Alder stated that the company is "deeply undervalued" and could be worth $50 to $55 a share to an acquirer, or a 33- to 46.5% premium to its current stock price.