Sport Chalet, Inc., the Southern California retailer that has been rapidly expanding into Northern California and the Las Vegas area, is now eyeing Arizona as the new frontier for growth with an initial opening of four locations in the Phoenix area in fiscal 2005/2006.
The sales increase is the fiscal second quarter ended September 30 was attributed to five new stores over the last year and a same-store sales increase of 5.2% for the period.
The improvement in gross margin was said to be due to “reduced costs from more efficient inbound logistics as well as continued improvements in inventory procurement”.
Markdowns were lower as a percent of sales due to the inventory initiatives. SG&A rose 160 basis points to 26.8% of sales versus 25.2% of sales in the year-ago period, primarily due to the “additional labor and advertising expense required to open three new stores”. The increase was partially offset by leveraging associated with the increase in same-store sales.
Sport Chalet opened two new stores in NorCal in Q2 and added one additional rooftop in SoCal. The current quarter is expected to see new stores opened in the cities of Elk Grove and Visalia.