Hancock Fabrics sales rise, loss narrows

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

BALDWYN – Craft and fabric retailer Hancock Fabrics saw an improvement in sales while narrowing its losses during its fiscal second quarter.
On Thursday, Hancock said sales for the period ending July 28 were $60.5 million, a 4.6 percent increase from $57.8 million posted in the year-ago period.
The company also saw its net loss for the quarter drop to $3.3 million, or 17 cents a share, compared to a loss of $3.9 million, or 20 cents a share, last year.
“The second quarter numbers are encouraging and in line with our expectations based on the initiatives we have been putting into place for this past year,” said Hancock Fabrics President and CEO Steve Morgan. “We are about to complete our 10th consecutive month of positive comparable store sales. Along with the approximately $4 million of expense cuts we initiated in April, and in spite of the increasingly promotional nature of our business, we continue to feel confident in our direction for the balance of the year.”
For the first half of its fiscal year, Hancock’s net sales were $124.4 million, up 3.8 percent compared to the first half of 2011. The company also narrowed its first-half loss to $5.7 million, or 20 cents a share, compared to a $6.1 million loss, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier.
Morgan said the company has opened six new prototype stores since March 9 to replace “oversized, outdated and antiquated stores.”
“As a group, these stores are comping up almost 30 percent inception to date,” he added. “We believe that our inventory position as well as our personnel are greatly improved over this time last year, and this gives us a healthy confidence going into the important third and fourth quarters.”
Hancock relocated three stores during the quarter – it’s moved five locations this year – to give it 263 stores overall.