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hhgregg Holiday Sales Slip 6%

Indianapolis — hhgregg said its net and comp sales both declined about 6 percent for the three months ended Dec. 31, amid sharply lower computer and tablet sell-through.

The company reported net sales of approximately $666 million in a preliminary account of its fiscal third quarter performance.

President/CEO Dennis May said the results reflect improvement over the prior quarter’s sales trends, particularly in the consumer electronics and major appliance categories. CE comps slipped about 4 percent; majap comps were relatively flat; and comps for home products, which include bedding and furniture, fell by about 9 percent, the company reported.

But the biggest decrease came in the computer and tablet category, where comps dropped 35 percent due to “declining consumer demand” and the company’s exit from certain areas of the business that were unprofitable, May said.

hhgregg’s sales declines came amid what many CE and appliance merchants have described as the best holiday season in years.

Conversely, online comps soared 59 percent for the quarter, and May also said he was pleased with the chain’s market share in 4K UHD TV.

“The company continues to execute on its strategic initiatives focused on transforming our sales mix” – aided by the addition this week of veteran merchant Keith Zimmerman – “and we are confident in our ability to make meaningful improvements in the coming fiscal year,” May said.

hhgregg will report its full third-quarter results on Jan. 29.