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Tiffany Montgomery
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Zumiez says back-to-school better than expected

By Tiffany Montgomery
September 28, 2009 5:58 AM

Zumiez said today that sales and product margins turned out better than expected during the back-to-school shopping season and the company raised its earnings guidance for the third quarter.

Below, we break down week-to-week sales and look at the performance of key categories at Zumiez during the back-to-school period.

Zumiez storeThe company now expects third quarter same-store sales to be negative in the high-single digit to low double-digit range. Previously, the company forecast a same-store sales decline in the low-to mid-teen range.

As a result, third quarter earnings per share should reach 12 to 14 cents per share vs. the 5 to 7 cents per share previously forecast. Sales will range from $110 million to $111 million.

Zumiez CFO Trevor Lang said in a prerecorded message that the later Labor Day hurt August sales but helped September sales. Same-store sales in September rose 8/10 of one percentage point. For August and September combined, same-store sales declined 7.7 percent.

September same-stores sales by week were:

Week 1: up .7 percent
Week 2: up 29.1 percent
Week 3: down 13.7 percent
Week 4: down 13 percent

Sales in the Western half of the U.S. remain weak, with same-store sales falling in the low double digits. In the South, Northeast and Midwest, same-store sales declined in the mid-single digits.

Footwear comps were modestly positive, Lang said, while all other categories recorded negative comps.


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