Lumber Liquidators rues harsh winter

Lumber Liquidators blamed the unusually harsh winter for interruptions in its long purchase cycle during the first quarter of 2014, though sales still managed to increase 6.9% for the retailer.

Total sales came in at $246.3 million for the three months ended March 31, compared to $230.4 million last year. The company estimates that weather was to blame for an adverse impact on sales in as many as 135 of its 331 store loctaions, declining an average of 3.8%. In all other stores, sales increased 14.6%.

Net income didn't fare quite so well, decreasing 13.2% to $13.7 million (compared to $15.8 million in year-ago terms).

"Like so many, our team was frustrated by the severity, scale and duration of the harsh winter and the adverse impact it had on our net sales," said CEO Robert Lynch. "Our customers generally follow a long purchase cycle, which we believe was either interrupted or completely suspended due to the unusually severe winter weather. However, as conditions generally became more seasonal in mid-March, customer demand increased. The key strategic initiatives we have implemented over the last two years have strengthened our operations, and we believe we are more capable than ever of serving customers who postponed their flooring purchase in the first quarter."

The company reiterated its full-year outlook for 2014, expecting net sales in the range of $1.15 billion to $1.20 billion, 35 to 40 new store locations in the expanded showroom format, and the remodeling of 25 to 30 existing stores in the expanded showroom format.