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Late buying rush pushes Zumiez to positive comps for December

By Andrew Horan
January 06, 2010 3:31 PM

Last-minute and after-holiday shoppers came out in enough force – and bought more, lower priced goods -- to give Zumiez a surprise lift to positive comps, the company reported today.

The results were strong enough that Zumiez raised its guidance for its Q4 results to project a narrower comp store decline for the quarter.

Q4 sales should range from $128 - $131 million, CFO Trevor Lang said, pushing net earnings per diluted share to a range of 24 – 27 cents – up from earlier projections of 18 – 22 cents.

Q4 comp sales should be in the mid- to low-single digit declines, compared to earlier projections of a mid- to high-single digit decline.

Zumiez December’s gains were “driven primarily by an increase in store transactions,” Lang said. During the period, Zumiez saw a small decline in the dollar sales per transaction, but an increase in units purchased per transaction.

Other details from the call:

  • Same store sales for December grew by .3% for the 5-week period ending Jan. 2, Lang said in the company’s recorded sales call.
  • Total sales grew by 7.7% compared to the year-ago 5-week period, to $77.6 million, compared to $72 million a year ago.
  • Weekly comps saw a steady growth, compared to the same week in 2008:
Week 1: - 4.5%
Week 2: - .2%
Week 3: - 4.5%
Week 4: + 1.3%
Week 5: + 12.3%
  • Regional sales were fairly consistent:
South: up 1%
Northeast: Flat
West: down 1%
Midwest: down 4%
  • Men’s accessories and shoes posted positive comps
  • Hardgoods, boys and juniors posted declines
  • For Q4 to date, comps are at -2.4%, compared to -13.1% a year ago
  • For 2009 to date, comps are -10.6%, compared to -6.1% a year ago.
  • Zumiez operates 377 mall-based stores targeted at boys and girls 12-24. It carries surf, skate, snow, moto and BMX apparel and hardgoods.
  • 331 stores were included in the comps.

More on: sales, Zumiez, Trevor Lang

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