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Hancock happy with holiday sales

Fabric and crafts retailer Hancock Fabrics said sales for the five-week Christmas period ended Dec. 30 shot up by 17.8 percent, spurred in large part by a new home decorating store-within-a-store.

Overall sales for the retailer climbed by 17.0 percent, to $45.5 million from $38.9 million the previous year.

During the first two months of the fourth quarter, overall sales climbed by 12.6 percent, to $82.9 million from $73.6 million the previous year. Same-store sales for the two-month period rose by 13.6 percent.

Year-to-date sales were up by 3.8 percent, to $371.1 million from $357.6 million the preceding year, while same-store sales for the period rose by 5.3 percent.

Larry Kirk, ceo, commented, "The sales momentum that has been accelerating since the summer is being led by our store-within-a-store concept for home decorating, which is now in 152 stores. A consistently high in-stock position, a stronger Christmas program and a more effective advertising plan also factored prominently in the sales results."

Kirk added, "This year's record warm weather was not the most conducive for sales of fall and winter fabrics; however, it was certainly preferable to the winter storm interruptions that we experienced in December a year ago. As anticipated, the company paid down the remaining bank borrowings in mid-December and currently has no debt outstanding under its $60 million unsecured credit facility."

Hancock is a retail and wholesale merchant of fabric, home-sewing and decorating accessories with 437 retail fabric stores in 42 states.

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