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Conn’s Comps Slip In January

A late Super Bowl and last year’s exit from gaming, imaging and select tablets led to a 2.3 percent decline in January comp sales at Conn’s.

The multiregional retailer was saved from deeper declines by its burgeoning furniture and mattress business, which posted a 12.3 percent increase in same-store sales last month, and a 15.2 percent gain for the November through January period.

President/CEO Norm Miller noted that the Super Bowl’s one-week calendar shift pulled sales into February, which contributed to a 15.7 percent decline in January CE comps. Home-office comps fell 11 percent, reflecting the absence of certain tablets, and appliance comps were essentially flat.

Excluding the impact from gaming, imaging and tablets, CE comps would have decreased by 9.2 percent, home-office comps would have declined 3.6 percent, and total comps would have shown a 0.6 percent gain.

Miller said results were also affected by the downturn in the oil industry, which touches some of Conn’s Texas and Louisiana markets, and that the 100-store chain is strategically expanding its furniture assortment.

Sixty-day delinquencies on in-house customer credit, which have hurt the bottom line and precipitated Miller’s appointment, ticked up to 9.9 percent from 9.7 percent last year, but remained flat from December.