When you just deplore your bare wood floor and feel the need to improve your home's décor, Kirkland's hopes you'll explore its stores for affordable rugs, art, lamps, and more. The company operates more than 300 stores (down from 350 in 2007) in some 30 states, which stock decorative home accessories and gifts, including framed art, mirrors, candles, lamps, picture frames, artificial flowers, rugs, garden accessories, and coffee-table books. Kirkland's also offers holiday items during Christmas and Easter. Late to the online party, the retailer launched kirklands.com in late 2010. Kirkland's was founded in 1966 by Carl Kirkland.
Kirkland's posted its third consecutive year of rising sales in fiscal 2012 (ends January), after stumbling during the recession and housing crisis. Still the $430 million Kirkland's rang up in 2012 (up more than 3% vs. the prior year) was below its pre-recession high of nearly $447 million in fiscal 2007. Net income declined by more than 27% in 2012 vs. 2011. The retailer credited new stores openings and the growth of its online business for the increase in sales, partially offser by declining same-store sales.
After shrinking its store base pretty dramatically during the recession, Kirkland's has resumed opening new stores -- mostly replacement locations -- over the past several years. The chain has grown by 30 locations since fiscal 2010 and expects to add another 10 to 20 stores in fiscal 2013. Most of the new stores will be in markets where Kirkland's already has a presence. (The chain has been closing mall-based stores while increasing its off-mall presence.) Key markets for Kirkland's include large metro areas, such as Houston and Atlanta, as well as in middle markets such as Birmingham, Alabama, and Buffalo, New York.
The company's stores offer about 2,500 unique items. Much of its merchandise is designed or packaged exclusively for Kirkland's stores. It's part of its strategy to create a "treasure hunt," per se, shopping experience for its regular customers.
The family of founder and director Carl Kirkland owns about 12% of the company's shares. – less