Sport Chalet reports modest gains

LA Canada

Sport Chalet made modest sales gains in the fourth quarter, stoked by a cold winter and enhanced customer marketing, the company reported.

In the fourth quarter ending March 28, sales at the La Cañada Flintridge-based sporting goods chain increased 6.8% to $90.2 million, up from $84.5 million for the same quarter a year ago.

The jump was driven by a same store sales increase of $4.7 million, or 5.7%, said Chief Operating Officer Craig Levra.

Previously, Sport Chalet had recorded 10 consecutive quarters of negative same store sales.

Total sales for the year, however, dropped 5.1% to $353.7 million, down from $372.7 million compared with the same period.

"Although the company has yet to return to profitability, and given that our stores are located in markets hardest hit by unemployment, bankruptcies, home foreclosures and declines in home values, I am pleased that we were able to generate positive same store sales," Levra said in a statement.

Wet and snowy weather helped fuel sales of winter merchandise throughout the fourth quarter, Levra said. The company also focused on enhancing its customers' online shopping experience at, and courting them via the Action Pass membership, a customer relationship program.

"We had a good winter in the fourth quarter but there is no question that the closure of Angeles National Forest and Angeles Crest Highway did not help," Levra said. "We have so many customers that like to pop in here and then head right up to Mt. Waterman or take their kids sledding up to spots next to the highway."

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