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Kirkland's Home May Close 130 Stores

Home Furnishings Retailer Could Reach Five-Year Low Store Count
December 12, 2007
Jackson, TN-based home furniture and accessories retail chain, Kirkland's, Inc. (NASDAQ: KIRK) revealed in its third quarter report, a 12.1% decline in comparable store sales, net loss of $10.7 million, and $7.1 million decline in net sales. The retailer has been reporting similar bad news all year.

In March 2007, CoStar informed readers about Kirkland's plan to focus its real estate strategy to focus on off-mall stores, which would result in closing a total of 40 stores this year.

After several quarters confirming that comparable store sales are more favorable at off-mall stores, Kirkland's revealed in its third quarter conference call that it will close 30 stores during fourth quarter, which ends in January. In addition, the closing of up to 100 additional stores over the next 18 months is under consideration.

Mike Madden, Kirkland's CFO stated in the call, "The comment about 100 (stores) was related to the next 18 months and that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to close all 100. It is simply saying we have the opportunity to make a decision whether or not we want to stay in that location in those 100 stores. And that is over the next 18 months and that is through natural lease expirations or kick-out opportunities we have in our leases."

So far in fiscal 2007, Kirkland's has opened 35 new stores. It has three stores planned to open in fiscal 2008, but will refrain from opening any other new stores.

If Kirkland's does in fact close 130 stores over the next 18 months, it would leave the chain with about 230 stores -- which is less stores than it had in August 2002, as far back as press releases are publicly available.

To read the earlier CoStar article about Kirkland's strategy to move off-mall, follow this link.

This article appears in "CoStar's Retail News Roundup: Dec. 9 to Dec. 15, 2007," a weekly feature written by CoStar News Senior Editor Sasha M. Pardy. This issue of the Roundup includes expansions and new concepts at Topshop, American Eagle, GNC, Chico's and more; new retail developments in NV, CA, NJ, TX and WI; acquisition, merger, or sale activity at Cedar Shopping Centers, Jones Lang LaSalle, The Standard Group, Donahue Schriber, Paragon, Trans World, Darden and Sun Capital, Dunkin' Brands, Star Buffet, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, and A&P/Pathmark's closed deal; store closings, cutbacks and bankruptcies at Kirkland's, CompUSA, Rent-A-Center, Sofa Express, 84 Lumber, and Home Depot; sustainability efforts at Home Depot and Office Depot; Personnel changes at CBRE, Regency Centers, Rubio's Restaurants, Dinner by Design; and more.

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