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Haverty Furniture Reports February Sales Decline

Furniture World News


Havertys' February sales decreased 10.9% to $60.1 million, compared with $67.5 million in February 2006. On a comparable-store basis, February sales decreased 12.9%. Comparable-store sales do not include stores or locations opened, closed or otherwise non-comparable during the last 12 months. Sales for the first two months of 2007 decreased 7.0% to $125.0 million compared with $134.3 million in 2006. On a comparable-store basis, sales decreased 8.7% for the first two months. "Two weeks ago in our fourth quarter earnings news release we cautioned that February total delivered sales were tracking down 12% from last year," said Clarence H. Smith, president and chief executive officer. "The full month results were only slightly better than that previous indication as a general softening of demand continues in several of our markets. We believe this condition is largely a result of the slowdown in housing and a weakening of prices for homes that reduces the equity and perceived "wealth" of our target customers. "Written sales for the first quarter through March 6th were down approximately 11% compared to the same period last year. There does not appear to be any near-term catalyst in the housing markets to improve this trend so we presume business will remain demanding for the next several months. We are focused on reaching our target customer with an emphasis on our strong values for quality merchandise. Where possible, we are reducing our overhead costs to reflect the lower sales activity. "Friday we are celebrating the grand opening of our second store in Austin, Texas, one of the markets experiencing a continuation of strong single-family housing sales," concluded Smith. Havertys is a full-service home furnishings retailer with 121 showrooms in 17 states in the Southern and Midwestern regions providing its customers with a wide selection of quality merchandise in middle- to upper-middle price ranges. Additional information is available on the Company's website at www.havertys.com.