Shares of Lumber Liquidators are crashing right now.
The stock is down 19% early in the U.S. trading session.
“Customer traffic to our stores was significantly weaker than we expected, particularly in geographic areas severely impacted by the unusually harsh weather in the first quarter,” explained CEO Robert Lynch on Wednesday afternoon.
Lumber Liquidators sells specialty flooring in its 340 locations across the country.
Home renovation, like floor replacement, serves as a proxy for home sales activity.
“The improvement in customer demand we experienced beginning in mid-March did not carry into May, and June weakened further,” said Lynch.”Our reduced customer traffic has coincided with certain weak macroeconomic trends related to residential remodeling, including existing home sales, which have generally been lower in 2014 than the corresponding periods in 2013. We now believe the prolonged purchase cycle associated with our customers’ discretionary, large-ticket home improvement projects is likely to be delayed for some customers into the fall flooring season, and for others, into spring of 2015.”
Earnings season has kicked off with a series of disappointing anecdotes from big U.S. retailers.
“Consistent with so many of our fellow retailers, we are experiencing a retail ‘funk,'” said Container Store CEO Kip Tindell.
“Our results continue to reflect the economic challenges facing our core customer and an intense competitive environment,” said Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine.
Hopefully, these are just anecdotes.