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Wilsons Leather Experts Inc total sales drops 6.6%

07
Oct '05
Leather outerwear, accessories and apparel maker Wilsons Leather Experts Inc reported that sales for the five weeks ended October 1, 2005 decreased 9.4 percent to $27.3 million as compared to $30.2 million for the five weeks ended October 2, 2004. Year-to-date sales decreased 7.4 percent to $189.2 million compared to $204.4 million for the same period last year. Sales for the prior year-to-date period included approximately $20.8 million in liquidation sales resulting from the transfer of inventory to an independent liquidator.

Comparable store sales decreased 6.6 percent for the five weeks ended October 1, 2005; this decrease compares to a 3.7 percent increase in comparable store sales for the five weeks ended October 2, 2004. Year-to-date comparable store sales increased 7.1 percent compared to an increase of 3.9 percent in the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the prior year-to-date period do not include sales from stores that were liquidated.

Commenting on these results, Michael Searles, Chief Executive Officer, said, "September was another difficult month for Wilsons Leather. Outerwear sales continued to be sluggish due to extremely warm weather over most of the country during the month. Accessory performance was positive during the month. Margin rates for the month are anticipated to be below last year due to the need to drive sales through price during the first two weeks of the month."

Searles continued, "They continue to be focused on driving strong accessory performance and increased garment sales as the fall season progresses. Balance sheet remains strong. During the month of September revolving line of credit balance was zero and they have maintained a zero balance since the end of December 2004. This is the longest period of time that they have maintained a zero balance in their revolving line of credit since the line of credit was established. They anticipate that they will need to access their revolving line of credit in October."

Minneapolis based Wilsons Leather is the leading specialty retailer of leather outerwear, accessories and apparel in the United States. As of August 27, 2005, Wilsons Leather operated 428 stores located in 45 states, including 305 mall stores, 109 outlet stores and 14 airport stores. The Company regularly supplements its permanent mall stores with seasonal stores during its peak selling season from October through January.

Wilsons Leather Experts Inc


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