Hechinger's Home Quarters division dampened Oct. sales

November 04, 1994|By Jay Hancock | Jay Hancock,Sun Staff Writer

As expected, Hechinger Co. reported disappointing October sales results yesterday, saying revenue in stores open for at least a year was flat for the month.

The company's Home Quarters Warehouse division pulled down results. It reported a 2 percent decline in same-store sales, which are considered an important measure of retail health.

The Hechinger Stores division, with locations concentrated in the Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore areas, reported that same-store sales rose by 2 percent for the month.

Last month Hechinger said its profit for the third quarter would be below analysts' expectations.

Hechinger managers and analysts blamed intense competition in the Carolinas for hurting Home Quarters' sales. Those states' cities have more home-improvement stores for their population than other towns, analysts said.

And earlier this year Home Quarters decided to ease back from a fierce price war there, raising its prices and thereby hurting sales, said Lynn Sawyer, who follows Hechinger for investment house NatWest Securities Corp.

"You can't be out of line on pricing, particularly if you're the weaker player in the market," she said.

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