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Tweeter Enters Three New Markets

11/04/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

The Tweeter Home Entertainment Group will open its first Tweeter stores in Nashville, Tenn., and Charleston and Spartanburg, S.C., this month.

Two stores are slated for Nashville and its environs, while Spartanburg and the Charleston suburb of Mt. Pleasant will receive one unit each.

Tweeter will also open two new stores in the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., areas this month, and will relocate its Galleria store in the Dallas market. The new Galleria location will feature the company's new custom installation Design Center vignettes.

"We are confident that these new stores will be up and running in time to service new customers with their holiday gift selections," said Tweeter VP/store merchandising Bernie Sapienza.

The new units are the first of 16 new locations planned for the current fiscal quarter, the company said. Tweeter currently operates 168 stores under the Tweeter, HiFi Buys, Sound Advice, Showcase and Hillcrest brands.

Looking ahead to the fast approaching holiday selling season, Tweeter president/CEO Jeff Stone noted in a recent quarterly sales statement, "We are hopeful that the dynamics surrounding the general economic marketplace will improve as we move into the December quarter."

Leading the recovery, said Stone, are new technology products like flat-panel TV, HD projection sets and satellite-ready car head-units.

Plasma and LCD displays, which accounted for almost 10 percent of Tweeter's total sales in September, remain the retailer's the fastest-growing category, with sales up 310 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30.

During the same period, sales of HD and HD-ready projection sets increased 28 percent, while sales of digital tube sets grew nearly 40 percent and sales of satellite-ready head-units rose 77 percent for the period.

For fiscal year 2003, the company plans to spend between $30 million and $32 million in capital expenditures and lower its debt to $35 million.

Total fiscal 2003 sales are expected to grow as much as 16.2 percent to $925 million, same store sales will range between flat and 3 percent growth, and earnings will range between 74 cents and 81 cents per share, the company projected.