FFO Home has acquired the parent of Louisville, Ky.-based Furniture Liquidators and Mattress & More, pushing into a new market and new states and gaining a ready-made platform to launch more sleep specialty stores.
Larry Zigerelli, FFO president and CEO, told Furniture Today the 47-store value-oriented retailer purchased Service Furniture and Bedding Tuesday for an undisclosed amount. That gives the fast-growing Top 100company 13 Furniture Liquidators stores in the greater Louisville market, including stores in Indiana and a central distribution center, as well as 15 area Mattress & More locations.
It also pushes FFO Home’s total store count to 75 and adds about 250 employees to its payroll for a total of 800 people, he said.
The move would likely have propelled the retailer into the Top 50 of Furniture Today’s Top 100 had the deal closed last year, with the chains combining for more than $155 million in estimated 2017 sales.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Furniture Liquidators and Mattress & More to the FFO Home family,” Zigerelli said in a statement.
“Both of these brands have enjoyed strong leadership positions for many years. Furniture Liquidators provides us strong critical mass in one of our key expansion markets and compliments us strategically as a leading value-oriented retailer.”
He added that Mattress & More “provides as important platform to accelerate the growth of our vertically integrated bedding business.”
There are no immediate plans to change the retail banner names, Zigerelli said, noting that Furniture Liquidators has operated in greater Louisville for about 50 years and developed strong brand awareness among area consumers.
FFO Home, meanwhile, plans to not only keep but expand on the Mattress & More brand, as it expands with specialty bedding stores into other adjacent markets. Eventually the name may be tweaked down the road, Zigerelli said, to show its connection to FFO Home.
With the acquisition, FFO is getting a Furniture Liquidators chain that is similar to FFO Home, he said, with stores averaging about 25,000 square feet and a similar offering of promotional to mid-priced lines.
“They’re the clear value guys, like us,” he said, “offering good selection and good quality at the lowest prices.”
There is some brand overlap between the two chains and no immediate plans to switch out any of Furniture Liquidators existing resources that don’t overlap. But FFO Home does see an opportunity to add some of its own brands to Furniture Liquidators’ lineup, including its private label Comfort Home upholstery and its vertically integrated Natural Elements bedding line.
FFO also may add Natural Elements to the Mattress & More assortment, which currently sells primarily Sealyand Restonic bedding.
Fort Smith Ark,.-based FFO Home, which opened its 47th showroom in December in Longview, Texas, has been in aggressive expansion mode ever since private equity firm Sun Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in the business in 2016. It has been steadily opening new stores in primarily secondary markets within its existing territories as well as in adjacent markets and new states when it can support the stores through its existing distribution network.
Zigerelli previously said the retailer planned to grow organically by eight to 10 stores a year. This large acquisition doesn’t change that plan, he said Tuesday.
New FFO stores are slated to open in St. Joseph, Mo.; Lawton, Okla.; and Memphis, Tenn. (its second in that market), within the next two months, which will push the retailer’s count to 78 stores.
The company also will open in Paducah, Ky., this summer, a store that was planned before the Furniture Liquidators buy.
FFO Home is No. 73 on Furniture Today’s most recent Top 100 with estimated 2016 furniture, bedding and accessory sales of $85.7 million at then 41 stores in five Mid-South states — Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. It has since opened stores in Mississippi and Tennessee, and the Furniture Liquidators acquisition now adds Kentucky and Indiana for nine state markets.
Zigerelli said 2017 sales reached $103 million last year — up more 20% from the year before.