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Larry Thomas

Conn's furniture, bedding sales jump nearly 50%

BEAUMONT, Texas — Retailer Conn's Inc. said its sales of furniture and bedding shot up 49.5% in the quarter ended July 31 as the company focused on higher-priced, higher-margin merchandise.

In a preliminary sales report, Conn's said furniture and bedding was its fastest-growing category during the quarter, and represented 18.6% of total sales.

Its largest category, appliances, had a sales increase of 0.9%, while its next-largest, consumer electronics, had a 1.7% decline. Sales in Conn's fourth major category, home office, which includes computers and tablets, jumped 34.6%.

Total sales for the fiscal second quarter were $171.7 million, an increase of 12.9% from the same quarter in 2011.

Of that total, furniture and bedding sales accounted for $31.9 million, up from $21.4 million in the same quarter last year.

The emphasis on higher-priced goods was especially evident in bedding, where the average mattress selling price leaped 78.5% but unit volume declined 18.8%.

Complete financial results for the quarter are scheduled to be released Sept. 4.

Conn's has 65 stores in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

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