St. Louis -- Build-A-Bear Workshop reported a net loss of $4.3 million in its third quarter, compared with net income of $0.9 million a year ago, and said it would close 50 to 60 underperforming locations in the next two years in an effort to improve its profitability and reach its “optimal” count of 225 to 250 locations.
The company also said that sales from stores with its new interactive store design had exceeded its expectations, and this success would allow it to add elements or in some cases fully remodel its most productive stores. The retailer is on track to have six stores open in the new format by the end of fiscal 2012.
For the third quarter, ended Sept.29, Build-A-Bear Workshop said consolidated net retail sales decreased 11.9% to $84.3 million, compared with $95.4 million in 2011, excluding the impact of foreign exchange.
Same-store store sales decreased 11.1%, which included an 11.8% decrease in North America and a 7.9% decrease in Europe.
Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop’s CEO commented: “Clearly we are disappointed with the quarter’s results. We were up against a difficult comparison from last year when product tied to the theatrical release of the Smurfs led to incremental traffic and transaction growth throughout the quarter.”