"The challenging sales environment we have been experiencing for the past six quarters continued into the first quarter of 2008, and increasing financial pressures on consumers resulted in top-line sales that fell below our plan," the Mooresville, N.C.-based home improvement retailer says in its release. "The generally poor economic outlook, including well-known housing pressures, rising food and fuel prices and a more negative employment picture eroded consumer confidence and impacted discretionary purchases for the home."
While it says it continued to gain market share in the quarter, it's not expecting much improvement. "Fiscal 2008 will be a challenging year on many fronts, but we remain focused on what we can control." The company says it plans to open 23 new stores in the second quarter, and 120 for the year. On a comparable store basis, it's predicting second-quarter declines of 6 to 8%, and for the full year, sales are likely to drop 6 to 7%.