The Walking Company Holdings, Inc. reported consolidated net sales for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008 of $59.5 million, up 5.2% from the year earlier period. The company said growth from 39 new stores for The Walking Company (TWC) was offset by the closure of 67 Big Dogs stores. At the end of the quarter, the company had 205 TWC stores and 71 Big Dogs stores open, as compared to 165 TWC stores and 138 Big Dogs stores a year earlier.
Comp sales rose 1.5% for TWC and 12.6% for Big Dogs. Gross margins fell 520 basis points to 48.2% due to the planned liquidation of Big Dogs inventory. TWC gross margin fell 150 points to 50.1%, while Big Dogs' fell 1,340 to 43.4%.