Sport Chalet reports 10th straight quarterly loss

One day after Sport Chalet reported a net loss of $1.9 million in its first quarter — the 10th consecutive quarterly loss for the retailer — Chairman and Chief Executive Craig Levra told shareholders the company is being positioned to make gains despite a stagnant retail climate.

"We will do better," Levra said of the sporting goods chain. "We are not sure when the economy will do better."

The remarks were made Tuesday during Sport Chalet's annual stockholders meeting at the corporate headquarters in La Cañada Flintridge.

Results released Monday reported that in the first quarter ending June 27, Sport Chalet sales increased by 0.4% to $79.7 million, up from $79.4 million for the first quarter last year.

The chain now includes 55 stores in four states, Levra said, but those states, California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah, are among the hardest hit by the recession.

"We are operating today in one of the worst regions in the country, if not the worst, with respect to the ongoing economic crisis," Levra said. "Our states are the hardest hit measured in home value loss, foreclosures, bankruptcies, both business and personal, and unemployment or underemployment."

In addition, Levra said, states such as Arizona have slashed operating budgets for state parks, curtailing visits to recreation areas typically popular with outdoor enthusiasts.

The company has implemented many cost-saving measures, Levra said, including reducing its workforce to 3,000 from 4,300, renegotiating expenses with all vendors and renegotiating rents with landlords.

Sport Chalet is focused on driving sales by expanding and further promoting its Action Pass, a targeted marketing program that has attracted 1.1 million members, Levra said.

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