Charlotte, N.C. — Conn’s has big plans for the Tar Heel State.
The multiregional furniture, appliance and CE chain has formally opened its second and third locations in the greater Charlotte, N.C. market, and retail president David Trahan said four more HomePlus superstores are on the way statewide, for a total of seven.
The Charlotte store, and a sister location in nearby Gastonia, grand-opened on July 4, timed to the Independence Day holiday. The next round of showrooms will be located in Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, the Charlotte Observer reported, and will be supported by a 350,000-square-foot distribution center here, which is adding more staff to handle the expansion.
“Opening these new stores in Charlotte and Gastonia reflects the positive reception we’ve received in the area, and we are excited to deepen our roots in these great North Carolina communities,” Trahan said in a statement. The grand openings were heralded by gift card giveaways, storewide promotions and an opportunity for local customers to enter to win a $10,000 shopping spree.
The retailer recently opened its fourth HomePlus store in neighboring Tennessee and, at the opposite end of its extended trading area, will soon open is seventh store in Colorado.
At last count Conn’s operated over 90 stores in ten states and plans to open upwards 15 to 18 new locations in total during its current fiscal year, which began in February.
The Texas-based company appears to be recovering from the impact of the West Coast port labor dispute, if not its tighter underwriting standards for in-house consumer credit, which recently put a damper on same-store sales.
For the month of May, net retail sales rose 14.1 percent to $110.7 million, and comp sales rose 4 percent, led by majaps (up 10.9 percent), commissions from extended service agreements (up 10.7 percent) and furniture/mattress (up 6.3 percent).
Comps were impacted by the company’s exit from the video gaming and digital imaging categories, and by a narrowed tablet assortment, which contributed to a 3.3 percent decline in CE comps and an 11.7 percent decline in same-store sales of home office products.
Excluding those merchandising changes, home office comps would have been flat; CE comps would have risen 2.9 percent, driven by a 4.6 percent gain in TV, reflecting higher average selling prices from a greater mix of 4K models; and total comps would have risen 7 percent, the company said.
The 60-plus-day delinquency rate on consumer credit was 8.5 percent as of May 31, compared to 7.8 percent a year ago, with a seasonal increase of 10 basis points from April 30, chairman/CEO Theo Wright reported.