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Tweeter’s Comp Sales Climb 6%In 2nd Quarter

Canton, Mass. — Maintaining a positive sales trend for a second consecutive quarter, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group reported a 6 percent increase in same-store sales for the three months ended March 31.

Total revenue from continuing operations gained 3 percent to $187 million for the period.

Joe McGuire, president/CEO of the national A/V specialty chain, said sales would have been higher had more 50W-inch plasma display panels been available.

“[We] were hampered by the tight nationwide supply … as we ended the quarter with significantly more demand than supply of that product,” he said.

McGuire observed that HDTV has become a “significant traffic driver” for the chain, with second quarter sales of flat panel growing 31 percent in dollars and 49 percent in unit volume year-over-year. Labor revenue from home installations was up 22 percent for the period.

In addition, inventory declined $19 million and debt was reduced by $22 million from the previous quarter, and turns rose to 4.1 for the prior 12 months, reflecting an improved supply chain infrastructure, he said.

Tweeter will report its second quarter earnings on April 27.

Elsewhere, national discount chains said March sales were relatively soft as a result of last year’s earlier Easter, which buoyed business during the year ago period. Among those reporting:

• Wal-Mart’s net sales rose 6.8 percent to $20 billion while comparable-store sales grew 0.8 percent;

• Target’s net sales grew 8.6 percent to $4.8 billion while comps gained 2.2 percent;

• Costco’s net sales rose 10 percent to $5.4 billion while comps grew 7 percent;

• Sam’s Club’s net sales climbed 6.2 percent to $$3.8 billion while comps grew 4.5 percent; and

• BJ’s net sales gained 7.3 percent to $713 million while comps increased 3.1 percent.