FINANCE

Build-A-Bear shrinks Q3 net loss; sets 10 to 25 store closings

BY Marianne Wilson

St. Louis — Build-A-Bear Workshop shrunk its net loss in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 to $1.4 million from $4.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier. The company announced that it expects to close an additional 10 to 25 stores in fiscal 2013 and 2014 and, along with opportunistic store openings, expects to reach a store count of approximately 250 stores in North America.

Consolidated net retail sales were $83.6 million while operating 31 fewer stores compared to $84.3 million in the fiscal 2012 third quarter, a decrease of 0.9%.

In one bright spot, consolidated same-store sales increased 6.4%. That result included a 7.6% increase in North America and a 2.3% increase in Europe.

“The third quarter marked our fourth consecutive period of same-store sales growth in North America and our third consecutive increase in Europe,” said Sharon Price-John, CEO of Build-A-Bear. “Stronger same store sales productivity, along with reduced promotions and disciplined expense management, drove an improvement in our operating performance. We have a solid plan in place and I expect to capitalize on the upcoming holiday season with compelling product and marketing initiatives. We are establishing a foundation to deliver our stated objective of sustainable profitable growth and will continue to leverage the strength of the Build-A-Bear Workshop brand, our core competencies.”

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FINANCE

New store format boasts Cabela’s Q3 results

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sidney, Neb. – Cabela’s said that strong performance from its next-generation store format helped drive its third quarter net income up 16.6%, to $49.9 million compared to $42.8 million in the year ago quarter. The company also announced plans for three new stores.

Revenue grew about 15%, from $741.2 million to $850.8 million. Same-store sales grew 3.9%.

“In today’s difficult marketplace, the strong performance of our next-generation stores continues to be a competitive advantage,” said Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO. “Growing our retail footprint through our next-generation store format provides an exciting vision into the future of our company.”

In the third quarter, Cabela’s said it had 14 of its 18 next-generation stores e open for the full period, with the new stores outperforming its legacy store base by approximately 50% in sales per square foot and approximately 60% in profit per square foot.

“Based on this, we plan to expand retail square footage at a low to mid-teens rate over the next several years with our next-generation and Outpost store formats,” said Millner.

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GNC Holdings profit up 17%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pittsburgh – GNC Holdings reported strong results for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, reporting a net income increase of 17.3%, from $62.2 million to $73 million.

Revenue grew about 9%, from $621.6 million to $675.6 million. Same store sales increased approximately 6.7% in domestic company-owned stores (including GNC.com sales) in the third quarter of 2013, while in domestic franchise locations, same-store sales increased 5.9%.

Looking ahead, GNC expects to make some major supply chain investments in 2014, including opening a fourth distribution center serving domestic stores, located near Indianapolis, in the first half of next year.

In addition, in October of this year GNC transitioned to a third party pooled carrier product transportation network and away from its private fleet, a move expected to produce $5 million in annual pretax savings.

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