Last February, independent tests of Lumber Liquidators’ flooring found high levels of the cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde: The average level in Lumber Liquidators laminate products was more than six to seven times above the state standard for formaldehyde. Media coverage of the problem make worries about indoor air quality and healthy homes. The company is still working to downplay the problems.
The chain of more than 370 stores specializing in discounted flooring products saw its net sales clock in at $233.5 million, 10.2% below where it was a year earlier. It gets worse when you work your way down to the store level, because those sales include the incremental sales by stores that have opened over the past year. Comparable-store sales took a 13.9% loss during the quarter as a sharp decrease in traffic was made worse by folks spending slightly less on the average sale.