Net sales drop for West Marine

WATSONVILLE, Calif. – West Marine, Inc.’s net sales for the 13 weeks ended March 31 were $126.2 million, a decrease of 4.9 percent from net sales of $132.6 million one year ago, the company reported in a release yesterday.

West Marine’s comparable store sales decreased 2.0 percent in the first quarter of 2007.

Net sales attributable to the company’s Stores segment for the first quarter of 2007 were $106.9 million, a decrease of $7.2 million, or 6.3 percent, compared to same period last year. West Marine said the sales decrease was primarily a result of having 35 fewer stores due to the closure of certain under-performing locations during the second half of last year.

Port Supply (wholesale) segment sales through the company’s distribution centers for the first quarter of 2007 were $10.4 million, a decrease of $0.1 million, or 0.9 percent, compared to the same period last year. Port Supply segment results do not include sales to wholesale customers through West Marine’s store locations, as these sales are included in its Stores segment.

Net sales of the company’s Direct Sales (catalog and Internet) segment for the first quarter of 2007 were $8.8 million, an increase of $0.8 million, or 9.9 percent, compared to the same period last year, primarily due to increased Internet sales.

“Sales during the first quarter were in line with our expectations,” said Peter Harris, CEO of West Marine. “Our comparable store sales performance was driven by the electronics category, in which we will see a later launch this year of key new products, which are just now hitting our stores. During the first quarter, we continued our focus on inventory productivity by clearing non-performing merchandise while improving in-stock rates.”

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