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Tweeter Q3 Comps Rise 2.4%; Mass Chains Show June Gains

7/06/2006 09:24:00 AM Eastern

Canton, Mass. — Fresh supplies of flat-panel TVs helped Tweeter Home Entertainment Group push same-store sales ahead 2.4 percent for the three months, ended June 30. It was the fourth consecutive quarter of comp-store sales growth for the specialty A/V chain.

Total revenue from continuing operations decreased 4 percent to $159 million, reflecting the closure of 18 stores since the year-ago period. Tweeter currently operates 153 stores.

“Flat-panel sales continue to drive our business,” said Tweeter’s president/CEO Joe McGuire, citing category gains of 17 percent despite a 10 percent decline in average selling prices. Similarly, the company’s custom installation business grew 18 percent during the quarter and accounted for 7.4 percent of revenues.

In addition, inventory was down approximately $9 million and debt was down $6 million for the quarter, compared with the year-ago period, McGuire reported.

Elsewhere, full-line discount chains reported solid net sales gains in June:

  • Wal-Mart stores rose 6.1 percent to $21.5 billion on comp gains of 1.1 percent;

  • Target grew 11.3 percent to $5.1 billion on comp gains of 4.8 percent;

  • Costco rose 10 percent to $5.2 billion worldwide on U.S. comp gains of 4 percent;

  • Sam’s Club posted a 4 percent gain to $4.1 billion on a comp increase of 1.3 percent;

  • BJ’s net sales grew 3.6 percent to $825 million but comps slipped 0.1 percent.

Tom Schoewe, executive VP/chief financial officer of Wal-Mart Stores, attributed the company’s soft comp sales to reduced store traffic, as high gasoline prices forced consumers to consolidate their shopping trips.

Costco cited major appliances among its best performing categories last month, and included office products and media among its weakest. BJ’s said TVs and other consumer electronics showed strong comp sale increases in June, while computers, DVD software and room air conditioners were among its weaker performers.

Separately, Sharper Image said net sales fell 21 percent in June to $36.4 million and comp sales dropped 26 percent year-over-year. CEO Richard Thalheimer attributed the declines to softness in the company’s core air purifier and massage chair categories, and its exit from the iPod business.

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