West Marine, Inc. said net revenues for its 13-week 2010 fiscal first quarter ended April 3, 2010 rose to $109.6 million, an increase of $8.6 million, or 8.5%, from net revenues of $101.0 million a year ago.

The strong gains were due to a $6.9 million, or 8.4%, increase in comparable store sales and $5.0 million in sales from stores opened in 2009 and the first quarter of 2010.


However, the impact of stores closed during 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 effectively reduced net revenues by $3.9 million. The majority of these closures occurred in connection with our on-going real estate optimization program.


We are very pleased with our first quarter sales results, which were ahead of our expectations. We believe these results were driven by a number of factors, both external and internal,” said Geoff Eisenberg, CEO of West Marine. “From a marketplace perspective, with increased sales of maintenance-type products, we are seeing signs that more people are preparing their boats for usage this year. We also are seeing recovery in demand for bigger-ticket items, such as boats, motors and electronics. Further, our expansion in the assortment of clothing and technical apparel is receiving good Customer response.


He said he was particularly encouraged because overall sales improvement was broad-based, across all regions of the country.


It also appears that we got a boost from the weather during the first quarter of fiscal 2010, Eisenberg said. “While cold weather in the southeastern part of the country put a damper on sales early in the year, this shortfall was more than offset by the unseasonably mild weather in the northeast during March.

From a competitive perspective, we are still benefitting from the closure of Boaters World stores, which was not completed until the mid-part of last year.

Early Deliveries of Core Inventory Proved Correct

Finally, we believe that our strong inventory position is helping us to fulfill Customer needs and maximize sales. As we talked about previously, given some vendor challenges we faced last year, we made a strategic decision to bring core goods in earlier and in greater quantity so that wed be more prepared to respond in the event of an increase in demand. I am pleased to say that even with first quarter comparable store sales that were up more than 8% versus last year, we have maintained target in-stock levels across the board.

I want to express appreciation to all our Associates whose efforts and focus on serving our customers were a key contributor to these strong sales results.

Net revenues in the Stores segment for West Marines 2010 fiscal first quarter were $96.4 million, an increase of $8.1 million, or 9.1%, compared to the same period last year. West Marines Port Supply (wholesale) segment revenues through the distribution centers for fiscal first quarter 2010 were $6.7 million, a decrease of $100,000, or 1.6%, compared to the same period last year. Port Supply sales to wholesale customers through store locations are included in the Stores segment. Net revenues in the Direct Sales segment for fiscal first quarter 2010 were $6.5 million, an increase of $0.6 million, or 11.1%, compared to the same period last year.