PLANO, Texas — At Home Group Inc., the home décor superstore, posted an increase in net sales of 47.5% to $470 million for the third quarter 2021 ended Oct. 24. This compares with $318.7 million in net sales during the third quarter of last year.

At Home chairman and CEO Lee Bird said he believes strong demand, the continued rollout of the company’s strategic initiatives and the net increase in open stores helped drive the growth.

“We not only delivered record comps of 44% in the third quarter, but also generated strong earnings flow through as well as excellent free cash flow,” Bird said. “Our leverage ratio of 0.9x is our lowest ever as a public company and reflects continued strength in our business and the significant transformation of our balance sheet.”

Bird added that the company’s inventory position is improving meaningfully, and fourth-quarter performance to date has remained strong as customers continue to refresh their homes and decorate for the holiday.

Earnings per share was 71 cents for the third quarter compared with negative 23 cents in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. And, Insider Perks, the company’s loyalty program, grew 42% to more than 8.3 million members, an additional 2.4 members year-over-year.

Gross profit increased 99.9% to $170.7 million from $85.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Gross margin increased 950 basis points to 36.3% from 26.8% in the prior-year period primarily driven by leverage on occupancy costs and depreciation expense as a result of increased sales, product margin expansion, and lower freight expenses incurred when stores were closed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the company.

At Home Group now plans to open between 12 and 15 new stores during the first three quarters of next year.

“Longer term, I couldn’t be more excited about our ability to expand our market share in a large, highly fragmented and growing industry,” Bird added. “We have the potential to grow our store base nearly three times larger, and our real estate opportunities are only getting stronger. We also believe we can drive revenue per store significantly higher through both our in-store and omnichannel strategies.”

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