In early April, sales were down by more than 75 percent, Nash said, as the pandemic forced the closure of many stores and kept customers from shopping.
By mid-April, CarMax said about half of its locations were either closed or operating on a limited basis. As of May 31, all stores were back open, though more than half were still operating with occupancy restrictions and more than 10 percent still had limited operations.
CarMax had planned to open 13 new bricks-and-mortar stores during the current fiscal year and a similar number in its fiscal 2022, but the company said in mid-April that it would halt new-store openings and remodels. CarMax last week reiterated that it is pausing additional spending on store expansion for the time being.
The retailer, however, did open four new locations in existing markets during its first quarter. New stores in Tampa, Fla., and Philadelphia were completed before the April decision, and buildings in New Orleans and Los Angeles were "substantially complete," so the four locations were opened in May, the company said. CarMax now has 215-plus locations nationwide, according to a company spokeswoman.
Nearly all of CarMax's bottom-line profit evaporated during the quarter in comparison with the same period last year. First-quarter net earnings dropped 98 percent to $5 million. The retailer's net sales and operating revenues tumbled 40 percent to $3.23 billion.
CarMax's total used-vehicle sales volume also fell 40 percent during the quarter as it retailed 135,028 vehicles.