The Forzani Group Ltd. reported strong sales and margins for the fiscal 2007 “Back to School” selling season. Retail system sales for the six-week period ended September 10, 2006 increased 7.0% over the same period last year. Exclusive of the impact of the current year addition of The Fitness Source, retail system sales were up 5.8%.
Overall same store sales for the six-week period increased 4.3% (fiscal 2006 increase of 5.0%). Corporate same store sales were up 2.3% (fiscal 2006 increase of 4.7%), with footwear sales outpacing hardgoods and apparel. Margins in all banners continue to be stronger than in the prior year. Corporate same store gross margin dollar increases outpaced the related sales improvement as they rose 6.5% over the prior year. These results were attained with a reduced marketing spend versus the prior year. Franchise stores continued their trend of the first half of the year as same store sales increased 8.9% (fiscal 2006 increase of 5.6%) for the six-week period.
As noted by management in the Company's September 1, 2006 release, the shift in Back to School shopping, to the latter part of August and first few weeks of September, has been repeated this year as overall same store sales in the first three weeks of the six-week period were up 1.4% followed by a 6.9% increase in the second three weeks of the six-week period.