Beaumont, Texas - Higher average selling prices, an expanded furniture and mattress assortment, and the closure of less productive stores led to a 12.1 percent surge in fourth-quarter comp-store sales for Conn's.

Net sales rose 4.2 percent to $7.6 million for the three months, ended Jan. 31, the multiregional CE, majaps and furniture chain reported.

"Despite weakness in the consumer market for televisions, we were pleased to deliver double-digit same store sales growth for the second quarter in a row," said CEO Theo Wright.

The company also increased its retail segment gross margin percentage by 500 basis points to about 29 percent, representing a 21 percent increase for the quarter.

Broken out by category, CE comp sales fell 9.8 percent due primarily to a 30.6 percent decline in unit sales of TVs. The decrease was driven largely by the company's decision to not participate in Black Friday and fourth-quarter promotions, which contributed to a 23.4 percent increase in average selling prices (ASPs). Also contributing to the CE decline was a reduction in gaming hardware and software sales, partially offset by an increase in home theater sales.

Majap comps increased 21.2 percent during the quarter on a 21.5 percent increase in ASPs, partially offset by a 3.3 percent decrease in unit sales. Laundry sales were up 25.1 percent, refrigeration sales were up 13.3 percent and cooking category sales were up 13.6 percent, the company said.

Home office comps rose 29.8 percent, due primarily to increased tablet sales and a 25.3 percent spike in laptop, desktop and netbooks ASPs, which offset a 12.5 percent decrease in unit sales.

Furniture and mattress comps increased 46 percent due to category expansion, enhanced displays and increased promotions, while commissions from repair service agreements rose 38.5 percent year over year.

Conn's closed nine stores, is in the process of shutting a 10th, and let two leases expire over the past fiscal year, leaving 65 locations in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

The company will report its full fourth-quarter results on April 3.
Release Date: 
2012-02-07 13:49:49
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Abstract Web: 
Beaumont, Texas - Higher average selling prices, an expanded furniture and mattress assortment, and the closure of less productive stores led to a 12.1 percent surge in fourth-quarter comp-store sales for Conn's.
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