Build-A-Bear-Workshop builds income, sales

St. Louis -- Build-A-Bear Workshop reported increased net income and sales the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter a year earlier, despite closing some stores. The retailer’s adjusted net income rose to $2.3 million, compared to an adjusted net loss of $500,000 in the first quarter of last year.

Consolidated net retail sales were $102.9 million with 24 fewer stores compared to $95.2 million in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 8% excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Consolidated same-store sales increased 10.4%.

“We have had a strong start to the year with a double-digit increase in consolidated comparable store sales, growth in e-commerce and a return to profitability in the first quarter,” said CEO Maxine Clark. “Our positive trend has continued into the second quarter with year-to-date through April consolidated comps up 10.1%, which normalizes the change in the timing of East.”

Clark noted that the chain’s updated design has been met with a positive response.
“Our first six remodeled stores continue to have strong average sales increases of 25% and we expect to remodel approximately 25 additional stores in the new design in 2013,” she said.

The company expects to close an additional 30 to 45 stores in fiscal 2013 and 2014 to reach its optimal store count of 225 to 250 stores in North America. These closures are expected to transfer approximately 20% of sales to other stores in the same markets, consistent with the average transfer rate of the stores closed since 2011.

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