San Francisco - The combination of a vacillating economy and tentative consumer buying habits did much to darken fiscal fourth quarter and year-end sales at specialty retailer Good Guys.
Net sales for the three months, ended Feb. 28, reached $229.5 million, down about 12 percent from the $259.2 million recorded in the fourth quarter of the previous year.
The drop reflects the closing of seven stores and an 8 percent decline in comp-store sales, said Good Guys. Comp-store sales for continuing categories decreased 7 percent.
The retailer said it continued to experience strong growth in sales of digital products, including flat-panel and high-definition televisions, digital cameras, HD set-top boxes and wireless phones.
Sales of flat-panel TVs, which include plasma and liquid crystal displays, increased more than 350 percent from a year ago.
Good Guys said average transaction size, gross profit per transaction and items per transaction for the fourth quarter also increased over the year-ago period.
For the 12 months, net sales hit $750 million, off about 8.5 percent from the $819.7 million recorded in the prior year. Comp-store sales for the fiscal year decreased 5 percent.
'The uncertain economic and political environment and the resulting decisions by many consumers to defer major, high-ticket purchases contributed to a lackluster start to the month of February and a very poor President's Day weekend,' said chairman/CEO Kenneth R. Weller.
'A relatively strong December - coupled with Good Guys' dramatic reductions in selling, general and administrative expenses - continued cost efficiency and containment efforts and the success of our store closing program, nevertheless should enable us to achieve our goal of returning to profitability for the fiscal year just ended,' Weller said.