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Conn’s Reopening Stores In Wake Of Gustav

Beaumont, Texas — Regional white- and brown-goods chain Conn’s said it will reopen today most, if not all, of the 10 stores it closed over the weekend in advance of Hurricane Gustav.

Conn’s had closed all six of its Louisiana locations and four southeast Texas stores on Saturday, along with its service and distribution operations in those markets. The company also relocated its corporate personnel to backup facilities in Houston and Dallas. The secondary facilities were established three years ago after its Beaumont headquarters were rendered inaccessible by Hurricane Katrina.

Any of the affected facilities not reopened today will resume operations as soon as conditions are deemed safe for a return, the retailer said.

There has been no impact on other store, service or distribution operations as a result of either the hurricane or the relocation of its corporate offices, the company said. Despite the store closures, Conn’s estimates that total product and extended-warranty sales for August increased by a low-double-digit percentage, and that same-store sales were “slightly positive” for the month.

Last week, Conn’s reported that total sales for its fiscal second quarter, ended July 31, increased 7.4 percent to $218.5 million, which was comprised of a 6.5 percent increase in net sales, to $190.6 million, and a 13.7 percent increase in finance charges and other revenue, to $29.1 million.

Same-store sales declined 1.4 percent, and net income grew 5.7 percent to $10.2 million for the three-month period.

Conn’s opened four new stores during the quarter, bringing the total to 73, and has three more stores under development that it plans to open by late January.