West Marine, Inc. saw first quarter net sales total $126.2 million, a decrease of 4.9% from net sales of $132.6 million a year ago. Comparable store sales decreased 2.0% in the first quarter of 2007.
Net sales attributable to the company's Stores segment for the first quarter of 2007 were $106.9 million, a decrease of $7.2 million, or 6.3%, compared to same period last year. The sales decrease primarily was a result of having 35 fewer stores due to the closure of certain under-performing locations during the second half of last year. Port Supply (wholesale) segment sales through the company's distribution centers for the first quarter of 2007 were $10.4 million, a decrease of $0.1 million, or 0.9%, compared to the same period last year. Port Supply segment results do not include sales to wholesale customers through store locations, as these sales are included in the Stores segment. Net sales of the Direct Sales (catalog and Internet) segment for the first quarter of 2007 were $8.8 million, an increase of $0.8 million, or 9.9%, compared to the same period last year, primarily due to increased Internet sales.
Peter Harris, Chief Executive Officer of West Marine, said, “Sales during the first quarter were in line with our expectations. Our comparable store sales performance was driven by the electronics category, in which we will see a later launch this year of key new products, which are just now hitting our stores. During the first quarter, we continued our focus on inventory productivity by clearing non-performing merchandise while improving in-stock rates.”