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Hhgregg swings to loss in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis – Hhgregg Inc. swung to a net loss of $7.2 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to net income of $9.9 million in the same period the prior fiscal year. Net sales dropped 10% to $538.3 million, from $597.6 million.

A same-store sales decline of 10% affected both net income and sales, and charges related to Hhgregg’s planned exit from the mobile phone business also helped drive its net loss.

Dennis May, president and CEO of Hhgregg, cited severe weather as also hampering results in the fourth quarter.

“In addition to continued volatility in the consumer electronics business, extreme weather in January, February and the beginning of March negatively impacted traffic and operating performance in the majority of our stores, particularly those located in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, where the weather was the most severe,” said May. “Despite these challenges, the company was able to report a comparable sales increase in its appliance category, which marked its 11th consecutive quarter of comparable store sales increases in the appliance category.”

For the full fiscal year, net income dropped 91% to $228,000 from $25.37 million. Net sales decreased 5% to $2.34 million, from $2.47 million.

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Stage Stores widens net loss in Q1

BY Dan Berthiaume

Houston – Stage Stores Inc. reported a net loss of $18.79 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, up from a net loss from $6.86 million in the same period a year earlier. Net sales slightly declined to $372.04 million from $372.1 million, while same-store sales decreased 0.2%.

One-time charges associated with moving the company’s South Hill, Virginia, operations into its Houston headquarters totaled approximately $9.7 million and contributed to Stage’s net loss. President and CEO Michael Glazer also cited factors including weather and low prices as affecting the retailer’s results.

“Comparable store sales were flat in a volatile first quarter, marked by a highly promotional retail environment and unseasonable weather,” said Glazer. Our results were also impacted by our sales mix for the quarter, which was heavily weighted with clearance goods. While this hurt our gross margin, we feel very good about our inventory content heading into the rest of the year.”

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LightSpeed releases new POS solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Montreal – LightSpeed, has unveiled its new LightSpeed Cloud for iPad POS solution. The patent-pending app lets retailers use product photos, logos and other imagery to design a custom, fully branded POS and interactive selling tool that offers personalized product look-ups and recommendations.

“One of brick-and-mortar retailers’ biggest assets is the ability to immerse the customer in your brand from the moment they walk in the door,” said Dax Dasilva, founder and CEO of LightSpeed. “Technologies you bring into your store should add to that, not interrupt it. With this release, we are bringing retailers’ own identity to the forefront. For the first time, they can control the entire experience, to the transaction and beyond.”

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