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Action sports retailer West 49 reports holiday sales
Jan '08
Canada's leading action sport retailer West 49 Inc reported sales results for its fiscal 2008 Holiday selling season. Net sales for the five week period ended December 29, 2007 decreased 0.3% to $36.0 million compared to $36.1 million for the corresponding period a year ago.

For the five week period, the Company's comparable store sales decreased 5.4% on a consolidated basis and decreased 3.9% at its core West 49 banner when compared to the Holiday selling season in the prior year.

Comparable store sales were negatively impacted by cross border shopping attributable to the strong appreciation in the Canadian dollar compared to the same period the year before. Excluding Ontario, the West 49 banner posted comparable store sales growth of 3.3% compared to the Holiday selling season the year before.

For reference purposes, the Company achieved exceptionally strong comparable stores sales increases of 9.4% on a consolidated basis and 12.4% for the West 49 banner for the Holiday selling season the prior year.

"As anticipated, cross border shopping and an especially challenging retail environment in Ontario continue to impact our top line in the fourth quarter," said Sam Baio, Chief Executive Officer of West 49 Inc.

"We are taking decisive actions to strengthen our business and adjust to the current environment in which we operate. We are working with our suppliers to ensure our costs more accurately reflect the stronger Canadian dollar. In fact, our merchandise purchases for the coming spring and summer seasons will benefit from the higher Canadian dollar. We remain confident that our strategy to relocate and expand many of our older West 49 stores in Ontario will improve their sales performance and help grow our market share."

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