In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, President and CEO John Venhuizen talked about why he thinks there's still room for local, neighborhood stores.
"We had eight out of 11 years in a row where we had less U.S. stores at the end of the year than when we started. Our new store efforts have been good. The real problem was just general business atrophy from owners who had no succession plan or exit strategy and over time started removing themselves from the business. So with the support of the board we put a lot of tools and education around that, with this message that running a retail store is not easy, and there is a better way to monetize your life's work than to liquidate at 30-40 cents on the dollar. This will be the fifth year in a row where we have had increased store count in the U.S. every single year. We haven't solved that problem entirely, but we'll open 150-160 this year, and we'll lose probably less than 90.". . . more