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Harvey Electronics Reports Sales Hopping, But Slow In March

LYNDURST, N.J. — Harvey Electronics, the high-end, New York metro area CE specialty chain, said its sales rose 13.8 percent to $17.2 million for the five months ended March 24, while same store sales were up 11.4 percent for the period.

Remove the holiday period from the picture, however, and sales gains were somewhat muted for the month of March, with revenue rising only 1.2 percent over the comparable four weeks in 2000.

Likewise, same store sales were down less than 1 percent last month, although the company attributes much of that to a three-day closure of its flagship store in midtown Manhattan due to a nearby fire and building collapse that shut the entire city block.

Although sales cooled in March, Harvey president Franklin Karp said revenue snapped back sharply in April.

“Harvey’s sales remain strong in a difficult retail environment,” he reported. “There is no question that there has been a slowing of customer traffic to our stores through the end of March 2001. The company has, however, seen an increase in traffic and strong sales results for the first three weeks of April, and we are hopeful that this trend will continue.”

Giving him cause for optimism is continuing “strong” consumer demand for digital technologies, plasma flat-screen TVs and home theaters, plus “positive results” from its custom installation business.

Looking ahead, Karp said Harvey is planning a chainwide grand opening event to celebrate the April 10 debut of its ninth store, located in Eatontown, N.J., and has begun a renovation of the aforementioned flagship unit.