Conn’s Q1 Comps Fall 20%
By Alan Wolf On May 17 2010 - 3:01am
BEAUMONT, TEXAS — Conn’s said a
weak local economy and tightened consumer
credit lead to a 19.8 percent drop in
comp-stores sales during its fiscal first
quarter, ended April 30.
Net sales, excluding revenue from the
company’s in-house finance operation,
fell 18.6 percent to $162.8 million during
The downturn was led by a 32.7 percent
decline in unit sales of flat-panel TVs and
a 12.2 percent decline in average selling
prices, chiefly for LCDs.
The company also reported a 16 percent
decline in majap sales, reflecting
lower unit volume in all appliance categories
despite the benefit of the Energy
Star rebate program that was launched
in Texas last month.
Sales within the stores’ central “track”
section slipped 1.1 percent as increased
sales of laptop and desktop computers,
the introduction of netbooks, and higher
digital camera and accessory sales were
offset by declining sales of camcorders,
GPS devices and video game hardware,
the company said.
Despite the downturn, sales trends
successively improved during each
month of the quarter, and retail gross
margin rose to approximately 27 percent
for the three months, compared with 23.7
percent during the preceding quarter and
25 percent during the year-ago period,
as management focuses on profi tability
while maintaining price competitiveness,
The company also reported rising average
selling prices in appliances.
The net sales decline was partially offset
by the opening of two new stores last
year, although the gains were offset by the
closure of a clearance center. The NATM
retailer currently operates 76 stores in
Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.