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Clint Engel

Havertys' second quarter sales decline 1.4%

Furniture retailer up against strong numbers a year ago

ATLANTA — Havertys' second-quarter sales and same-store sales decreased 1.4% as the Top 100 company said it was up against strong numbers resulting from a stimulated housing market a year ago.

The 118-store Atlanta based retailer said today that sales for the period ended June 30, declined to $143.1 million from $145.1 million for the second quarter of 2010. Through the first six months, sales decreased 1.3% to $297.3 million from $301.1 million a year earlier.

Both quarters this year "faced tough matchups to the double-digit comp-store increases in the first half of 2010 as housing activity had been stimulated by the home buyer tax credits," said Havertys President and CEO Clarence Smith.

He added that the second half usually is the stronger half for Havertys, and said sales comparisons won't be as challenging. Same-stores sales were up 3% in the second half of 2010 vs. the year before.

Smith said written sales for early July, including the July 4 holiday weekend, were up modestly from a year ago, when Havertys also saw an increase.

"We remain cautious as consumer spending for home furnishings is reflective of housing values and activity, which persist at extraordinarily low levels," he said.

Havertys operates stores in 17 southern and Midwestern states.

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