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Tweeter’s Full-Year Sales Slip 1.3%

Canton, Mass. – Twelve-month sales for Tweeter Home Entertainment Group decreased 1.3 percent to $786 million for the full fiscal year, ended Sept. 30, while comparable store sales declined 9.9 percent.

Sales for Tweeter’s fiscal fourth quarter, ended Sept. 30, remained flat at $183 million, while same-store sales fell 6.8 percent, representing the 10th consecutive quarter of comp store declines.

The A/V specialty chain broke with tradition by not breaking out performance by category, although it noted that it achieved a previously announced goal of reducing discontinued and open box inventory from 17 percent to less than 10 percent of inventory during August and September.

The inventory reduction came at a price, however. According to chief financial officer Joe McGuire, the negative impact to gross margin was nearly $8 million, or more than twice previous estimates. This has widened Tweeter’s expected net loss for the fourth quarter from between $4 million and $5 million to between $9 million and $10 million, he said.

Looking ahead, McGuire said it is buying inventory for the December 2003 quarter to support a 4 percent to 5 percent increase in comp store sales, although the company is planning operating expenses based on flat sales expectations.