West Marine’s same-store sales improved

The dramatic improvement in the U.S. economy during the third quarter apparently continued into the fourth quarter, as indicated by the 4.5 percent increase in sales revenue during the four weeks ended November 22 at the stores that West Marine Inc. has operated for at least a year.

Sales improved throughout the four-week period and improved the most in the Southeast, where sales were up 6.3 percent, said John Edmondson, chief executive officer.

West Marine’s sales also increased 4.6 percent in the Northeast and 1 percent along the West Coast.

Watsonville, Calif.-based West Marine, which acquired 62 BoatU.S. stores last January, reported its total sales during the four weeks ended November 22 increased 28 percent to $34.5 million. Its total sales increased 23 percent during the 47 weeks ended November 22 to $607.3 million.

However, the company’s “same-store” sale were down 2.8 percent when the 47 weeks ended November 22 are compared with the same portion of 2002.

Edmondson said he continues to believe West Marine’s fourth quarter sales will end up in the $125 million to $130 million range and its net loss for the October-through-December period will amount to $1.8 million to $2.2 million, compared with a net loss of $1.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2002.

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