Berkshire Meeting: Is Fruit of the Loom Doomed by the Death of Retail?

Features Dow Jones Newswires

Many of the nation's individual retailers, department stores and malls have spent the last few months warning of collapse. And some have even collapsed outright.

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But so far, two of Berkshire's most prominent types of consumer companies haven't felt the same pinch. Fruit of the Loom, Berkshire's underwear brand, has done well. While the company's various furniture brands have also shown growth.

On the company's furniture operations, Mr. Buffett said, "we've had really good same-store gains." He even added that furniture alone did about $45 million of business in one week recently.

Among Berkshire's furniture brands are Nebraska Furniture Mart, based in Omaha, and Jordan's Furniture, based in Taunton, Mass.

As for the firm's current retailing strength, Mr. Buffett doesn't expect the current good times to last forever.

"We don't really see it, but there were a lot of things we didn't see 10 years ago that then materialized," he said. "I have no illusions that 10 years from now will look like today."

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Click here to see the full live coverage of Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting:

http://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/berkshire-hathaway-2017-annual-meeting-analysis

Write to Geoffrey Rogow at geoffrey.rogow@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 06, 2017 15:48 ET (19:48 GMT)