The Forzani Group Ltd. reported total retail system sales declined by 1.8% for the latest ten-week Holiday Season period versus the prior year. On a same-store basis, retail system sales were down 2.7%. Corporate same-store sales decreased 3.6% while franchise retail same-store sales were down 1.1%. Corporate store gross margin rates improved 70 basis points versus the prior year. Corporate store inventory levels were as planned.
For the second half of the latest holiday season, same-store retail system sales rose 2.4% compared with the prior period. For the first half of the latest holiday season, as disclosed on Dec. 10, 2009, same-store retail system sales were down 10.7% from the prior period.
Holiday Season results reflects the 10-week-period ended January 10, 2010. The Holiday Season period encompasses the first ten weeks of the fiscal fourth quarter, including Christmas and Boxing Day.
“As we anticipated, sales were slightly lower than a year earlier because of consumer caution and unseasonably warm weather in November 2009,” said Bob Sartor, CEO. “Even so, we managed our margins well by providing more current inventory and adopting less aggressive discounting. Also, sales for the last five weeks of the latest Holiday Season were actually higher than a year ago. Unfortunately, the gain in the last five weeks was not quite enough to offset the weak start.”
The company expects to disclose its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Jan. 31, 2010 on April 6, 2010.