If you want to know how real the boom in home furnishings sales is and how much America is spending to make their homes nicer, all you have to do is ask La-Z-Boy
The iconic furniture manufacturer and retailer, with perhaps the best known brand in the sector, blew out its fourth quarter with record sales up 41% and profits to match as consumers continued to focus on redecorating and upgrading where they live with new furniture. While La-Z-Boy is of course best known for its namesake recliner chairs, it is in fact a producer of a broad assortment of furniture and also owns the direct-to-consumer brand Joybird. Through its Furniture Galleries retail division, which includes both company owned and third-party stores, it is also one of the country’s largest retailers of furniture, with about one-third of its overall revenue coming from La-Z-Boy branded stores.
The fourth quarter put the icing on the cake for the company’s fiscal 2021 that saw a modest 1.8% increase on the top line with net income, on a GAAP basis, jumping from $1.66 a share to $2.62. The increase was less on a non-GAAP basis.
By one measurement that the company uses, “written same-store sales” for the entire Galleries network doubled, increasing 100% for the quarter. For the year, those sales were up 31%.
In her first reporting period as CEO since she succeeded her long-time predecessor Kurt Darrow who announced his retirement in April, Melinda D. Whittington, said, “In an extremely difficult year marked by the pandemic, related macroeconomic uncertainty and supply chain disruption, we delivered strong results. All business units are experiencing record demand, demonstrating the strength of our brands in the marketplace.
“For the fiscal 2021 fourth quarter, record sales led to all-time record profits driven by increased production capacity, excellent performance by our company-owned La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores, and continued growth and profitability at Joybird.”
And Whittington said things have continued strong even after the quarter closed on April 24. “Fiscal 2022 is off to a great start with continued robust written order rates and a record backlog, setting us up well for a strong year of shipments ahead.”
Even as the numbers exceeded pre-reporting analyst forecasts, the stock was basically flat in after-hours trading on Tuesday, perhaps reflecting continued concern about the longevity of the home products boom. Yet La-Z-Boy joined a long list of companies in the sector, including RH, Williams Sonoma
Americans recent love affair with their homes, even as they begin to emerge from pandemic-inflicted hibernation, seems to be in no danger of subsiding anytime soon. In releasing its stellar numbers, La-Z-Boy is saying sit back, put your feet up and relax.