Conn's, Inc. (NASDAQ:CONN) Q2 2021 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Sep 03, 2020 • 11:00 am ET

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Conn's, Inc. (NASDAQ:CONN) Q2 2021 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Executive
Norman Miller

in nine fiscal years, which we believe was driven by strong internal collection efforts and the benefits of government support programs. Consumers are also spending less and saving more and we are encouraged that they are using their available cash to pay down debt. We believe these trends are also having a positive impact on cash collections within our portfolio. To help our customers navigate the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we provided financial relief in the form of payment deferrals to our customers. We were pleased to support our customers in their time of need and the performance of these accounts is in line with our expectations. We are also focused on controlling the balance of reaged accounts within our portfolio and in June, we revised certain reaged programs to be more restrictive. As a result, we are starting to see a decline in reaged accounts as a percentage of the portfolio. I am also encouraged that the dollar balance of reaged accounts has declined approximately 14% since January 31, 2020.

As you can see, we continue to pursue a conservative credit approach given the uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall economic environment and the continuation of government stimulus and support programs. However, unlike other companies, we have the flexibility to prudently reduce risk while still providing consumers with alternative financing options as a result of our multiple third-party partnerships. We believe our second quarter results highlight the success and flexibility of our unique hybrid credit and retail business model and the ability to derisk our credit business while still supporting retail demand through our diverse credit options.

So looking at our retail segment performance in more detail. Total retail sales declined 8.6%, while same-store sales declined 13.2% for the second quarter primarily due to the underwriting adjustments that we began implementing in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We believe tighter underwriting reduced same-store sales by an estimated 20% during second quarter. Given the continued uncertainty related to the economic environment, we expect to remain cautious in our underwriting approach, which will likely impact the level of sales financed through our in-house credit offering for the remainder of our fiscal year.

Overall, we continue to see strong demand for appliances during the quarter, which typically have lower average selling prices and lower retail gross margin. Appliance sales during the quarter increased 8.4%. Conversely, demand for more discretionary products such as furniture and mattress and consumer electronics remained below pre-COVID levels. Sales of furniture and mattress represent our highest ticket purchases and were most impacted by the underwriting changes, while consumer electronics continues to experience significant TV price deflation.

As a result, furniture and mattress and consumer electronics sales were down 18.6% and 11.7%, respectively, for the second quarter. Out of stock inventory also impacted second quarter retail sales and was caused by global manufacturing and logistics issues at our vendors as well as higher-than-forecasted demand, primarily within the appliance category. While manufacturer supply chains