Conn's, Inc., a specialty retailer of home appliances, consumer electronics, computers, and lawn and garden equipment, announced that it has returned to normal operations in all of its 55 stores, all of its distribution and service centers and its corporate headquarters facility following Hurricane Rita's visit to the Gulf Coast. Hurricane Rita came ashore early in the morning of Sept. 24, 2005, just southeast of Beaumont, Texas, U.S. where Conn's is headquartered. As a result of the storm, Conn's corporate headquarters building, five stores and a distribution and service center in the affected area were without power and other essential city services. None of the facilities suffered major damage. As power and other services were restored, these facilities were returned to operational fitness. Certain of the company's other stores, in anticipated landfall areas, were closed due to evacuation of the areas, but were brought back on-line as soon as the threat of the storm passed.
In anticipation of the storm's arrival, Conn's had transferred its key operations to Dallas and other sites away from the coast. This permitted all facilities outside the storm-affected areas to continue to function. As it became apparent that southeast Texas including the Beaumont area would not enjoy rapid restoration from the storm, all corporate functions were relocated to various other locations including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. All corporate activities continued to function remotely in these outlying sites. As of Oct. 10, 2005, all company functions and activities have resumed normal operations at their normal locations.
Net Sales for September 2005, which included 134 lost store-days due to Hurricane Rita, were U.S. $47.3 million or a 20.6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Same store sales increased 10.6 percent for the period. While Conn's normally does not report monthly volume, it is releasing these numbers on a one-time basis due to the extraordinary nature of the events connected with Hurricane Rita.
"In spite of Hurricane Rita our sales performance continues to be strong," said Thomas J. Frank, Conn's chairman and CEO. "In fact, we expect sales to benefit ultimately from the storm's impact: we sell many of the products our customers need to rebuild their lives following this storm. We appreciate the hardships and losses our customers have endured due to this storm, so we have worked hard to reopen all of our stores to assist them in getting back to normal."
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