WATSONVILLE, Calif. – Net sales at boating supplies retailer West Marine, Inc. (Nasdaq: WMAR) for the 13 weeks ended Sept. 27 were $180.2 million, a decrease of $8.2 million, or 4.4 percent, from net sales of $188.4 million for the same period a year ago, the company reported in a recent statement.
That was primarily due to a $7.5 million decrease in comparable store sales, according to West Marine. Comparable store sales for the third quarter decreased 4.7 percent.
Net sales for the 39 weeks ended Sept. 27 were $520.1 million, a decrease of $41.1 million, or 7.3 percent, from net sales of $561.3 million for the same period a year ago, the company reported. It said that was primarily due to a $33.3 million decrease in comparable store sales and a $9.2 million sales decrease attributable to stores that were closed in 2007. Comparable store sales for this period, which decreased 7.1 percent, do not include net sales of $9.0 million from new stores and $7.1 million from remodeled or expanded stores, the company explained.
Net sales attributable to West Marine’s stores segment for the third quarter of 2008 were $159.8 million, a decrease of $7.5 million, or 4.5 percent, compared to same period last year.
Port Supply (wholesale) segment sales through the distribution centers for the third quarter of 2008 were $9.9 million, a decrease of $0.2 million, or 2.3 percent, compared to the same period last year. Net sales in the Direct Sales segment for the third quarter of 2008 were $10.5 million, a decrease of $0.4 million, or 4.0 percent, compared to same period last year.
“As anticipated, sales results during the third quarter remained soft, with particular weakness in the southeastern part of the country,” commented Geoff Eisenberg, West Marine CEO. “Economic conditions and high fuel prices continued to affect boat usage, which is the primary driver of our traffic and sales levels. Spending on big ticket items continued to be slow. More recently, we also have seen sales softness spread to the International business, though this is a relatively small portion of our overall sales mix. We are continuing to operate the business conservatively, focusing on expense management and cash flow generation.”
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