Trans World reports plunge in holiday sales

The holiday spending slump hit Trans World Entertainment, whose exposure to a softer sales environme
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The holiday spending slump hit Trans World Entertainment, whose exposure to a softer sales environment was worsened by a dearth of strong new music and video releases and a smaller store footprint.

The Guilderland “all entertainment” retailer reported a 19 percent total sales decline for the nine-week period that ended Jan. 5, compared with the same period of 2006. Sales during that period fell to $378 million from $469 million.

“Holiday sales were well below expectations,” Trans World Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Higgins said in a Thursday conference call with analysts.

On a comparable store basis, sales declined 13 percent for the five-week period and 12 percent for the nine-week period ending Jan. 5.

The company operated 14 percent fewer stores during that nine-week period, compared with a year earlier. It is holding liquidation sales at 138 stores, including the Coconuts Music at Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland.

The poor performance during the crucial fourth quarter, which has accounted for up to 40 percent of its business in past years, prompted Trans World to revise its earnings outlook for the year. The company forecast a net loss of $15 million to $20 million for the fiscal year, down from its previous break-even prediction.

The lackluster results sent Trans Wold’s stock down 1.3 percent to $4.43 per share by the end of trading Thursday.

Categories: Business

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