Alan Wolf On Nov 19 2012 - 1:00am

Conn's Comps Up, Enters New Mexico


THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS – Growth in furniture, mattresses, IT and higher-priced appliances sent Conn’s net sales up 8 percent and comp sales ahead 12.6 percent for its fiscal third quarter.

The Texas-based chain also announced the opening last week of its first store in New Mexico.

Net sales topped $167 million for the three months, ended Oct. 31, while retail gross margin was up 970 basis points to 35 percent, the multiregional chain reported.

Broken out by category, CE comp sales were down “only 3 percent despite continued industry headwinds,” chairman/CEO Theo Wright said.

Higher tablet sales and a 28 percent increase in the average selling price (ASP) of computers sparked a 27.5 percent comp gain for the home office category.

Meanwhile, majap comps increased 6.4 percent thanks to a 24.4 boost in ASPs and despite a 17.4 percent decline in unit volume.

The biggest quarterly comp gainer was furniture and mattresses, up 34 percent thanks to enhanced presentation and product selection and increased promotional activity.

The company will report its full thirdquarter earnings results on Dec. 3.

The new New Mexico store, located in Albuquerque, is a HomePlus showroom format that was designed to highlight furniture and mattresses.

Conn’s, which operates 66 stores in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, said it also plans to enter the Arizona market.

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