Hancock Fabrics narrows losses

BALDWYN – Hancock Fabrics on Thursday reported it narrowed its losses in the most recent fiscal year, amid nearly flat sales thoughout the company’s 263 stores.
Hancock, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Aug. 1, 2008, reported sales of $276.4 million for fiscal year 2008, up slightly from the previous year’s $276.3 million.
Same-store sales – sales at stores open for at least a year – were up 2.1 percent for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31.
The company narrowed its losses to $12.4 million, compared to $33.3 million in 2007. The most recent loss includes $10.4 million in expenses related to its reorganization and bankruptcy.
“We have made significant progress during 2008 in our effort to position Hancock for the future,” said Jane Aggers, Hancock’s president and CEO. “We are optimistic that we can continue to improve our operating results, despite the challenging economic environment.”
Just days before the fiscal year ended this year, Hancock laid off about 30 corporate and store support positions, equaling about 9 percent of the corporate (non-store personnel) work force. Hancock said the move would save the company about $3.2 million in 2009.
Over the past year, the company opened one store, closed seven and relocated four, to finish the year with 263 locations. It remodeled 63 stores.
The company closed 44 underperforming stores in 2006 and an additional 134 stores in 2007. In March 2007, it filed for bankruptcy.
In the same January press release, the company said it lowered its planned capital expenses for fiscal 2009 by about $4 million or 45 percent below the anticipated 2008 levels.
In the release this week, Hancock said it expects to spend $5-$10 million on capital expenditures.

Carlie Kollath/Daily Journal