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  • INDUSTRY NEWS

    • On July 24, 2017, it was reported, Homesense, a new off-price home concept from The TJX Cos., will open its first U.S. store next month in Framingham, MA, with four more planned by the end of the year. The Framingham store will open on Aug. 17 and the others will be in East Hanover, NJ; Ocean Township, NJ and Westwood, MA. While the new fleet shares a name with another effort in Europe and Canada, the Homesense concept in the U.S. will offer a different assortment from stores bearing the same name overseas, the company said. Merchandise in the U.S. will include oversized upholstery (sectionals and sofas, futons and day beds); game room items like pool tables; office furniture like desks, bookcases and filing cabinets; garden furniture; rugs; art and a "general store" with toolkits and hardware. The concept was first unveiled (though not then named) in February, when CEO Ernie L. Herrman said the company would differentiate it from the company's HomeGoods to encourage customers to shop at both.
    • On July 24, 2017, it was reported, Hardware retail co-op True Value might be searching for a seller. According to Bloomberg, the company is working with an investment bank to explore a potential buyout that could fetch around $800 million. A True Value spokesperson would not confirm to Retail Dive that the company is for sale, except to say that the company regularly assesses opportunities, and said the Bloomberg report came out of "left field." A possible sale could attract private equity buyers among others, according to Bloomberg. True Value competitor Ace Hardware might also be interested. "It is our understanding that True Value is evaluating or conducting a formal auction process for the sale of its business," Ace President and CEO John Venhuizen told the Chicago Tribune in an email. "At this point, we have received no contact to participate in that auction process. If contacted, we would have interest in exploring it." A spokesperson for Ace did not reply to a request for comment. The True Value spokesperson said the reported interest from competitors was a sign of strength in the retailer. Of Venhuizen's comments specifically she said, "I cannot speak for the company and where they get their information."
    • On July 24, 2017, The Buckle said it had elected Thomas B. Heacock vice president of finance, treasurer and chief financial officer, effective immediately. He replaces CFO Karen B. Rhoads, who announced her intent to retire in May. Heacock previously served as the company's vice president of finance, treasurer and corporate controller and has been employed there since October 2003. Before that he was at Ernst & Young. The appointment comes after a two-month search, according to a press release from founder and Chairman Daniel J. Hirschfeld.
    • On July 20, 2017, it was reported, Sears Canada has been given approval to begin liquidation sales Friday at 59 locations it plans to close, a report by the Associated Press . The motion for liquidation was approved by Ontario Superior Judge Barbara Conway on Tuesday. According to the AP report in the Washington Post, Sears lawyer Jeremy Dacks said the company wants to start sales of its merchandise, furniture, fixtures and equipment as soon as possible to maximize benefits for its stakeholders. The liquidation sales, held only at the 59 stores set for closure, will begin July 21 and run until Oct. 12. Most of the sales will be overseen by a third-party liquidator. On June 22 the company filed for protection from creditors to continue its restructuring plan. Earlier this month, the company filed motion materials with the Ontario Superior Court to further those restructuring efforts.