Footstar, Inc. reported that total sales for the thirteen-week period ended March 29, 2003 were $482.1 million, a decrease of 12.9% from the $553.8 million posted in the same period last year.
Total sales for the Meldisco division declined 23.9% to $240.3 million from $315.6 million, and total sales in the Company’s athletic segment increased 1.5% to $241.8 million from $238.2 million. The overall sales decline in part reflects fewer stores in operation at Meldisco.
Footstar’s comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 5.3%. Comparable store sales at Meldisco decreased 10.9% and comparable store sales for the athletic segment were flat. The Company adds store results to its comparable store sales base after the store has been open for twelve months. Stores are removed from the comparable store sales base the month after the decision to close a store has been made.
Mickey Robinson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Footstar’s results for the first quarter were in line with our expectations. At Meldisco sales were affected by the calendar shift for Easter, which was in the first quarter of 2002 and is in the second quarter this year. In addition, Meldisco had a difficult comparison to last year, when strong sales of winter boots fuelled double-digit comp gains in the first quarter. This year the majority of the winter boot sales came before Christmas, driving fourth quarter 2002 results. Once the weather warmed in March we generated strong sales of spring product. We are encouraged by the early performance of our spring styles at Meldisco and look forward to a strong Easter season.
“In the athletic segment, we experienced very strong sales at Footaction, where we posted high single digit comps in January and February with solid sales in both footwear and apparel. We also achieved positive comps in March, despite the Easter shift. These strong results were offset by lower sales at Just For Feet where we experienced a decline in traffic,” Mr. Robinson said.