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Haverty Furniture Companies Inc. Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Written sales for the second quarter to date are up 8.8% and for the first time in several years our recent store traffic is positive, up in the mid single digits. Our website traffic is up 13% for the first quarter, which also correlates to a 13% increase in page views.

We had 1.7 million unique visitors to havertys.com in the quarter. According to our year end brand tracking report 75% of our customers go to the web before they purchase demonstrating the importance of our fully interactive site.

While our Internet sales are not a significant part of our total business, havertys.com's high use demonstrates our customer’s attraction to the site and the strength of our interactive marketing program.

Our bedding, upholstery and casual dining business is stronger this year with an encouraging recent trend of increasing bedroom business. While our promotional efforts have worked very well, we are seeing signs of strength in the better goods. We’ve several new better end groups and collections which will be on our floors by mid-summer.

We’re having discussions of price increases with some of our companies but we’ve been successful in keeping our costs under control due to our long-standing commitments to our core vendors. Pricing has caused and will cause some shifts in our merchandise line up. We remain dedicated to providing a superior value in our niche.

Along with our strong relationships with traditional manufacturers, we believe that our combination of our direct sourcing model alongside working relationships with agents and sourcing companies helps to provide great values for our customers while producing good gross margins.

We did not experience some of the shipping problems with containers that many of our competitors did in the first quarter due to our strong contracts with shipping lines and our communications and logistics systems.

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