20 new F.Y.E. stores expected this year
ALBANY F.Y.E. parent company Trans World Entertainment Corp. has said it will open 20 new stores this fiscal year, a reversal of course for the Albany-based company that was forced to close hundreds of stores in the last seven years because of declining CD sales.
None of the new stores will be local. F.Y.E. stores typically crop up in malls, and Capital Region malls are already saturated.
“It’s unlikely that any of them will be local because we’re already in Crossgates, Rotterdam and Wilton malls, as well as Colonie Center,” said Trans World Chief Financial Officer John Anderson.
Trans World operates 376 F.Y.E. locations across the nation. In recent years, it has shifted its business model from a retailer that’s all about CDs to a retailer that specializes in movies, music, trend items, electronics and video games. The shift paid off, bringing in new revenue for the struggling company and allowing it to turn a profit.
“In the last two years we’ve gotten back to profitability and we have a very strong balance sheet and we see an opportunity to start expanding again,” said Anderson. “So these new stores will be kind of similar to the stores that have grown profitable for us with that broad mix of offerings.”
The company reported net income of $33.7 million for its 2012 fiscal year ending Feb. 2, 2013, according to its latest financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The annual income was 15 times more than the year before, when Trans World reported net income of $2.2 million for its 2011 fiscal year.
Last year, the company had a one-time gain of $22.8 million from the sale of property in Florida, but even without the sale the company would have recorded net income of $12.2 million for the year.
“Our strong financial position provides us many options to enhance shareholder value,” said Trans World Chairman and CEO Bob Higgins in the filing. “In fact, our board gave careful consideration to and decided to pay a $15 million special cash dividend to return value to shareholders during the fourth quarter, which was the first dividend in the company’s history. The board will continue to monitor the company’s financial needs and resources and will consider all options to enhance shareholder value.”
The new stores will create about 100 to 120 new jobs nationwide, said Anderson. A few positions might be added locally, he said, since Trans World’s corporate headquarters and distribution center are located in Albany.