Not surprisingly, the troubled political and economic climate took its toll on September sales at leading CE chains RadioShack and Tweeter Home Entertainment Group.
RadioShack's revenues from all stores sank 6 percent last month to $354 million, while same store sales at company-owned units slipped 3 percent. Year-to-date, total and same store sales are both up 2 percent.
"Clearly the retail sector has been enormously impacted by the difficult economic and political environment that we are in right now," commented chairman/CEO Len Roberts. He added that the company was "encouraged" by sales gains in its two "anchor" businesses, wireless communications and parts, batteries and accessories.
Meanwhile, Tweeter said sales for its fiscal fourth quarter ending Sept. 30 rose 55.2 percent to $150 million, thanks to the recent acquisitions of the Sound Advice, Audio Video Systems, Big Screen City and Douglas TV chains. But minus their contributions, comp sales slipped 1.9 percent for the period.
"The tragic events and ensuing economic meltdown in September pushed sales into a negative position for the quarter," said president/chief operating officer Jeff Stone. Indeed, for the two months ended Sept. 30, comps were down 8.5 percent at Sound Advice while quarterly comps fell 15.1 percent at Douglas, 14.2 percent at Audio Video and 5.1 percent at Big Screen.
On a regional basis, Northeastern stores suffered comp declines of 10 percent while same store sales in the Chicago, mid-Atlantic, San Diego and Texas markets were up.
Stone described home audio as "the most impacted category," but added that business across the board was "noticeably better" during the last week of September.