Tuesday Morning offers big discounts every day of the week, but not every week of the year. The closeout retailer sells discontinued merchandise from name-brand manufacturers at steep discounts. Its merchandise typically includes upscale linens, china, cookware, rugs, and collectibles that are not seconds, irregulars, or factory rejects. Tuesday Morning's 850-plus stores in 43 states operate only during monthly sales events (with the exception of January and July). The retailer keeps costs down by selling from low-rent locations and using seasonal help -- only about 20% of its workers are full-time employees. Its customers are primarily women from middle- and upper-income households.
The sour economy and declining traffic at its stores have led to inconsistent sales trends and profitability at Tuesday Morning. For both fiscal 2012 (ends June) and 2011, sales fell about 1% each year. Net income has slid from $10.7 million in 2010 to $3.9 million in 2012. Longer term, sales have declined by more than 7% since 2008. In response, Tuesday Morning has been adjusting its inventory to focus on the most profitable categories. The retailer blamed the housing crisis and deep recession in the US, which has hit the home furnishing business especially hard, and liquidations at rival chains, including Linens n' Things, for flooding the market with closeout goods, as reasons for the malaise.
Unpredictable same-store sales (down more than 1% in fiscal 2011) has led Tuesday Morning to trim its store base. After more than doubling the number of temporary outlets it operates since going public (in 1999), the retailer has been closing underperforming locations. Still, and the historically fast-growing chain believes that the US market can support about 1,200 to 1,250 of its part-time stores.
The deep-discount chain buys upscale brand-name merchandise no longer carried by department and specialty stores and sells it at 50%-80% below its competitors' prices.
The investment FMR LLC owns about 15% of Tuesday Morning's shares. – less