Big 5, the regional operator of 433 stores, hopes this month and September will bring sales improvement to its camping and water sports products. There was soft consumer demand in both categories in June, something BGFV senior management blamed on unfavorable weather comparisons and “colder and dangerously high water flows in many of the rivers” in many of its markets.
Big 5 generated a 0.8 percent increase in same store sales for the period ended July 2 as overall quarterly revenues inched nearly 1 percent higher to $243.7 million on high-single digit growth in apparel and a low-single digit increase in footwear sales.
Elsewhere, Cabela’s continues to see softness in most hunting-related categories and a slowdown in firearms and shooting-related categories since last year’s presidential election. First quarter comparable store sales slipped 9.3 percent as retail store revenues fell 6.7 percent to $601.7 million and internet/catalog sales fell 3.9 percent to $135.7 million. Quarterly profit slipped 26 percent, sparking new speculation that the company’s anticipated acquisition by Bass Pro Shops in the third quarter could be in jeopardy at the current purchase price of $61.50 a share. A New York Post report, citing an unnamed Raymond James analyst, said a Cabela’s acquisition today without Bass Pro as the suitor would only be worth $25-30 a share. Cabela’s, meanwhile, is opening a 70,000-square-foot store in Albuquerque, NM on September 21.
• Zumiez reported a 5.1 percent increase in comparable store sales for the four weeks ended July 29 on comp gains from men’s, juniors and footwear. Second quarter same store sales rose 4.7 percent at the 692-door chain. · Timberland Tree Lab, offering curated collections and brand stories that will change every six weeks, opens its first store in King of Prussia (PA) Mall. Over the next month, additional stores will open in Stanford, CA and Portland, OR. There are also plans to open a series of “flex retail” brand stores across the U.S., starting with Mall of America on September 1.
• Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream, in time for Back-to-School, are opening new stores this month in Prosper, TX; Florence, AL; Kennesaw, GA and Houston. Once completed, there will be 704 Dick’s locations nationwide and 32 Field & Stream stores.
• PGA Tour Superstore intends to open a 30,000-square-foot store in Summerlin, NV near Las Vegas in a former Golfsmith.
• Uniqlo, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, will establish a series of U.S. vending machines to dispense heat-retaining shirts and lightweight jackets. The Japanese company will supplement temporary stores and its few flagship locations with the vending devices in 10 cities, including New York and Houston.
• Decathlon, which has more than 1,100 retail locations worldwide, is returning to the U.S. The French sporting goods company, which exited the former MVP Sports in Massachusetts after seven years in 2006, is opening a store on San Francisco’s Market Street.
• Belk intends to spend $40 million on a dozen store remodels and other capital improvements. Additionally, the department store chain is opening three new stores in Georgia, Kentucky and Maryland.