Before I get to my point, I want to applaud Deli, Ed, et al, for the excellent commentary of late. I am unworthy, oh Wise Ones (or is that Wise Guys?)!
Deli, I recall a conference call statement made a while back to the effect that HOTT is upsizing its smaller existing stores. These stores are then shifted back to the "new" store category for purposes of calculating SSS comparisons. I'm not sure I understand all of the accounting treatment or the number of stores involved, but it seems this process over the long run will continually boost SSS numbers by some incremental amount. Does anybody have a sense of how much this may help comps going forward? Given the small store base, even a small number of upgrades will help.
BTW, weather has been awful in my neck of the woods this holiday sales season. It's just another basis for easier comps next year. :-)