New Hillside name reflects strategy – mattress futon

Hillside Bedding, an 11-unit sleep shop chain based here, plans to enter new markets through a national direct marketing effort similar to that of Dial-A-Mattress.

Robert Martire, president of the firm, which earlier this month reported plans to change its corporate name to "Coast to Coast Corp.," said the name "better reflects the new direction the company is taking as it moves toward a program involving direct marketing on a national scale."

When asked if that effort would be similar to Dial-A-Mattress, which sells bedding by phone, Frank Marra of Corporate Relations Group, a spokesman for the sleep shop chain, said, "I believe that's a fair assessment." He said the direct marketing program would cover bedding. Get tips: Best queen size futon mattress

In response to an article in the New York Post on Dec. 14 that said the company "is set to close down all 11 of its New York and Long Island stores" and "will probably convert its stores to warehouses," Marra noted, "That's completely false. There is no truth to that in the least. We are not set to do that [close the stores]. We have not discussed converting the stores locations to warehouses."

The company also reported that Morton Swirsky has resigned as chief financial officer and director, effective immediately. Marra said Swirsky resigned "for personal reasons. It was a mutual meeting of the minds that he step down." He said the company "has a few people in mind" and expects to name his successor soon. HFD tried unsuccessfully to reach Swirsky for comment.

Hillside also reported that it has retained Corporation Relations Group Inc., based in Winter Park, Fla., to provide investor relations services designed to build awareness of the company among investors and financial professionals.

Hillside, an $11.3 million chain, avoided liquidation earlier this year by raising $4.1 million through a stock offering to raise funds to repurchase franchises and open new stores.

Following the public offering, the company repurchased 11 franchised stores, bringing its total number of stores to 31 in March.

Due to subsequent store closings, however, the number of stores has fluctuated and dropped to 11.

New Hillside name reflects strategy

As a result of competition in the New York area, where the company planned to expand, it changed its strategy to enter other markets and expand profitable stores.

As part of that plan, the company reported that it had signed a contract to buy a controlling stake in Today's World Inc. of Tampa, Fla., a furniture, futon mattress and bedding chain with annual sales estimated at $15 million. The company said the purchase was for cash and stock.

Hillside lost $2 million on revenues of $7.3 million in the fiscal year ended June. 30. The company lost $600,000 on revenues of $11.3 million the previous year.

In the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company's sales slid more than 50 percent from the same period for the previous year to $1 million, on earnings of $11,794. For the fiscal year ended June 30, the company lost $2 million on sales of $7.2 million.

Since the company went public on the over-the-counter market, shares of its common stock have plunged from a high of $10 to $1.50.

See more: HEILIG-MEYERS TO SELL ITS 236 MATTRESS STORES: DIVESTITURE MAY ENABLE RETAIL GIANT TO PAY DOWN ITS DEBT

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