Apr 19, 2018 • 09:00 am ET

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

Thank you. (Operator Instructions) And our first question comes from the line of Daniel Moore with CJS Securities. Your line is now open.

Analyst
Daniel Moore

Good morning, appreciate the color, then thanks for taking the questions. Lot of focus on the pro customer. What percentage of revenue did pros represent in the quarter versus perhaps a year ago? And to the extent that you're winning back share, who are you taking that share away from?

Executive
Kirk Geadelmann

Good morning, Dan, this is Kirk. Yes, our focus -- a big part of our strategy and our focus, certainly, will be to continue to focus on the pro customer and do some additional things, as both Bob and Cabby talked about, to continue to grow our business with that customer and to continue to partner with that customer. The mix of our pro business in terms of the sales we can directly track is in the high 30s. But I think it's important for us to reinforce with all of our stakeholders that the amount of sales that our pros influence is a much, much higher percentage. We believe it's likely north of 80%. Many pros will, because they trust us to serve their retail consumers at a high level, they'll simply send those folks into one of our sales associates. And so that won't be tracked directly as a pro sale. But again, it's -- a lot of our sales are heavily influenced by the pro. So it's going to continue to be a very important part of our overall business strategy and our customer focus.

Analyst
Daniel Moore

Very helpful. Maybe a quick follow-up. Now, as you increase inventory and change out SKUs, is there a possibility, or should we expect margins, perhaps, to be impacted over -- for some period as you liquidate older, less differentiated product? Or do you expect to -- and have the ability to be very patient as it relates to that?

Executive
Kirk Geadelmann

No, Dan. We don't really expect to see much, if any, impact. We're now pretty comfortable that we should be in that 69% to 70% range over the next couple of quarters. And any impact we'd see from moving any discontinued products out of the assortment, we'd expect to be covered by the shift to higher ASPs and slightly higher margins. We weren't surprised by where we landed from a gross margin rate perspective in the quarter. And we're pretty comfortable that we should be able to continue that. As always, there's always puts and takes. We do continue to have very strong sales of some of our setting and maintenance products that we've introduced over the last six months, and that sales growth will continue and likely will accelerate. And so there's some negative mix impacts due to some of those products. But in the -- at the current time, we're more than offsetting that with some of the other improvements we've made to our assortment and also our change in promotional strategy. I think the last thing I'd add